US laboratory ConsumerLab.com announced this week that it will start evaluating foods and food ingredients. As an independent evaluator of the quality of dietary supplements sold in the U.S. the company, created in 1999, now represents one of the largest published independent assessment of such products. Its first Product Review in this area will focus on nutrition bars, also known asmeal-replacement bars, energy bars, and protein bars. Nutrition bars, originally intended for athletes, have become ubiquitous in health food, grocery, andeven convenience stores and now account for more than $ 500 million in annual sales in the U.S. ConsumerLab.com's testing of nutritional products will analyse levels and types of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, as well as caloric values and amounts of other important ingredients such as caffeine and sodium. Early next year, the program will expand to include testing of "real" or "all natural" foodproducts for potential adulteration and the authenticity of their ingredients. Reviews released to-date include the most popular categories of vitamin, mineral, herbal and other supplements including calcium and CoQ10. ConsumerLab.com's lists of Approved Quality Products are gaining popularity as references for consumers, practitioners, researchers, and retailers.