20120907 - Nutritional balance of corn chips (descriptive statistics) - 2012

[Data] (Note: A revised version of this article exists3)
[<Normal page] [PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2012). Nutritional balance of corn chips (descriptive statistics). Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2012, pages 255-258.]

BNI of corn chips (description)

Perezgonzalez assessed the nutritional balance of corn chips4 in 20122, as part of a research on the nutritional composition of snacks in New Zealand. This article provides descriptive information both about the sample of products under research (foodBNI) as well as about a hypothetical diet based on those products (dietBNI).


Corn chip products appeared as moderately unbalanced5, on average. The distribution of nutritional balance, as shown in illustration 1, clustered between BNI 40 and BNI 80, with the median located at BNI 60.02. There was a slight skewness towards lower levels of unbalance (mean=BNI 59.17, zSkew=-0.14). Indeed, the 68% of products in the middle of the distribution had a nutritional balance located between BNI 40.70 (P16) and BNI 75.49 (P84), so that the mean was slightly off-centered towards the 16th percentile.

Above nutritional pattern was almost similar under WHO's recommended dietary intakes (RDIs), but appeared slightly less unbalanced under US's, Australia's and UK's RDIs. The overall shape of the distributions was also similar for BNI's and WHO's standards, on the one hand, and for US's, Australia's and UK's standards, on the other. An extreme case of nutritional unbalance was also quite noticeable in all distributions (this being the same food product for all).

Illustration 1: Food's nutritional balance distribution
International RDIs
≥10 3
≥20 2 3 4 3 9
≥30 2 5 8 8 1
≥40 7 4 7 8 6
≥50 8 7 13 13 13
≥60 6 6 5 5 5
≥70 12 12
≥80 1
≥90 1 1 1 1
Median 60.02 60.02 50.02 50.02 50.02
SPR 17.40 18.92 14.52 14.01 19.47
P16 40.70 37.66 31.24 32.25 21.34
P84 75.49 75.49 60.27 60.27 60.27
RSkew -1.93 -3.45 -4.27 -3.76 -9.22
Mean 59.17 58.29 47.10 47.87 44.96
StDev 16.03 17.01 14.15 14.19 17.20
zSkew -0.14 -0.28 -0.16 0.99 0.00
zKurt -0.53 -0.79 0.02 1.81 -0.36


As part of a hypothetical diet where all products contribute the same weight of chips, the resulting nutritional composition of such diet would still be moderately unbalanced (dietBNI 50.44f), although it would "benefit" sensibly under UK's RDIs, resulting in a slightly unbalanced diet5 (28.21).

Illustration 3: Diet's nutritional balance corn chips)
Protein Carbs Sugar Fat Sat.fat Fiber Sodium
7.3 59.0 2.5 25.1 8.7 3.7* 0.616
(diet, fiber unest.) 57.11 55.98 43.37 43.61 39.32
(diet, fiber est.*) 50.44 47.98 37.02 37.55 28.21
(Values per 100g; *fiber content estimated from Doritos Burn2)


Research approach

Exploratory study mapping the nutritional balance of corn chips4 in New Zealand.


Stratified sample of 34 potato chip products2, including generic and proprietary brands, diverse flavors and other relevant categories. Notwithstanding this, the actual products were collected in a convenient manner from three major national supermarket chains. The final sample covered the population of corn chip products available in those supermarkets.


Variables of interest for this research were the following:

  • Weight contribution of seven nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, saturated fat, fiber and sodium) to 100g of the food product.
  • The balanced nutrition index (BNI) of each food product, as calculated from above variables.
  • Aggregated information for the BNI of the sample of products (foodBNI).
  • Aggregated information for the individual nutrients (dietBNI).

Materials & analysis

Relevant data were collated after purchasing the food products or by capturing such information from the producers' websites if this information was available and was deemed reliable. The data were then assessed using the Balanced Nutrition Index™ (BNI™) technology (see Perezgonzalez, 20111). Inconsistently reported data for fiber was estimated for the aggregated variable dietBNI from 'Doritos Burn', the product with the lowest fiber content (see Perezgonzalez, 2012 2).

SPSS-v18 was used for the computation of variables, including BNI and international indexes, and for descriptive statistical analyses.

1. PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2011). Balanced Nutrition Index™ (BNI™). Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2011, pages 20-21.
2. PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D (2012). Corn utopia. The Balanced Nutrition Index (ISSN 1177-8849), 2012, issue 6.
+++ Notes +++
3. The second edition eliminates a food product which did not pertain to the sample and re-calculates the results, as appropriate.
4. Includes both corn chips and tortilla chips. Thus, they can be defined as thin shapes of pressed cornmeal (usually cut into triangles or circles), and then oven-baked or deep-fried.
5. When interpreting the BNI as 0 = balanced, 1-29 = slightly unbalanced, 30-59 = moderately unbalanced, 60-99 = highly unbalanced, ≥100 = extremely unbalanced.

Want to know more?

BNI™ database
The database offers individual nutrition analyses for food, including the foods referred to in above article.
BNI™ journal (2012, issue 6) - Corn utopia
This issue of the Balanced Nutrition Index™ journal collates all BNI™ nutrition information about the original sample in a single book.
Wiki of Science - BNI (topics' structure)
This Wiki of Science index provides convenient access to related files, including nutrition, types of food products and health claims used for marketing food.
Wiki of Science - Nutritional balance of foods
This Wiki of Science page collates information about several foods in a single page and provides useful links to the appropriate files.


Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2012). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalezJDPerezgonzalez).


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