What are Calories and Calorific Values?

What are Calories?

Calories are most commonly used to measure and express the energy content in various food, and drink items.

This means the amount of energy produced in the body once the food or drink is oxidized.

The amount of energy produced is measured in calories/kilo-calories. You may notice on the nutritional information section of food and drink labeling the energy content is also measured in kilo-joules (kj).

Protein contains 4 calories per gram, 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories but fat contains 9 calories per gram, more than double. So it’s easy to see why eating too much fatty food can easily lead to weight gain.

Also any drinkers out there may be interested to learn that 1 gram of alcohol contains 7 calories so that’s another easy way to pile on the pounds.

Calorific Value refers to the amount of heat produced per unit of mass when the given substance is subjected to total combustion in laboratory testing.

These resulting values are usually expressed in mega-joules per Kg. In addition to expressing the energy values contained in foodstuffs, calorific values are also used for various forms of fuel.