Adding New Ingredients to MasterCook for Windows

How do I add new ingredients to MasterCook? I have some personal ingredients that I use often, and I would like the nutritional analysis to reflect these in my recipes.

Select INGREDIENT LIST from the Tools menu at the top of the program. This is where you add new ingredients to MasterCook. The changes you make here, are reflected in the MC file within the Mc Tools folder on your computer. (The Mc Tools folder is located within the MasterCook folder on your computer.) Therefore, you will want to be sure to keep this file backed up on a regular basis.

Before you get started, you can try to see if the ingredient already exists, so you are not creating work that is unnecessary. Then you can link your ingredient name to the one that already exists. See this article: Finding the Correct Ingredient Name

Browse the included ingredients to get a feel for how the ingredients are entered. Use that as a guideline when adding your own to the program.

Notice the top part of the Nutrition Facts tab of the Ingredient List. There are three fields. These correlate to how you plan on using the ingredient in your recipes. If your recipe calls for the ingredient based on volume (cups -- i.e., 1 cup flour) but you don't enter a volume, the program isn't going to be able to give you an accurate nutritional analysis (NA) for that ingredient in your recipe. Therefore, it is wise to fill in all three fields (serving size, weight, and volume) if possible. (Sometimes this might not be possible if the food packaging label doesn't provide that info.)

Notice that the ingredient "sweet potato" is known by all three measurements. This means that if a recipe calls for any three types:

1 sweet potato

1 cup sweet potato

1 pound sweet potato

The recipe will reflect the correct NA for all three measurements.

However, take a look at "potato chip" and notice that this ingredient is NOT known by volume. Therefore, if your recipe calls for 1 cup potato chip, the program is NOT going to be able to give you a proper NA because it doesn't know the NA based on volume. It only knows each (serving size) and weight. So, it would give you an accurate NA for 1 pound potato chip and 1 potato chip.

The existing ingredients within MasterCook mostly come from what the USDA provides in their database. In some cases the MasterCook Development team has manually entered ingredients based on food packaging labels, just as we users are able to.

One question that often gets asked... why are some ingredients in bold and others aren't? The bold ingredients are suppose to be those that are known by each (serving size), such as an apple or orange or potato chip, etc. In some cases there are some ingredients that are mislabeled (bold or not), and some of those we have reported to the MasterCook developers so they can fix them.

Also notice that MasterCook indexes its ingredients. See the More Info tab within the Ingredient List. Take notice of the INDEXED AS field. This helps when you go to search recipes based on ingredients. For example, chicken breast is indexed as chicken. Chicken is indexed as poultry. When you go to perform a search based on ingredients, i.e. poultry, it will return results for chicken breast.

Notice turkey is also indexed as poultry. Turkey will also return in results where "poultry" is a search criteria. You may want to index your new ingredients accordingly to get the most use out of the Search function within the program.

The indexed ingredients is most helpful for people who want to search for recipes with pasta but exclude those that have dairy in them, for example. The indexed ingredients makes this possible and easy to do.

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