How Do I Create An Ingredient?

Steps and tips for creating articles

Published on 08/31/2021Cladie Olivier

To create items, you have two options: single creation, and multiple creations to create several items at once. Here are the steps and tips to create multiple ingredient files in a few clicks.

Access the ingredients by clicking on the “Ingredients” tab in the “Main menu

Simple creation

Click on the floating button “Create an ingredient” accessible via the ++ at the bottom left.

A first step invites you to fill in:

  • the designation
  • the category
  • allergens 
  • the nature of the ingredient

If the item is a liquid, you can fill in the density.

Accordingly identify an ingredient

The creation of an ingredient requires the correct denomination of the latter. The goal being that we can easily find it, later, among a more or less long list of items. 

An effective denomination of an ingredient in the mercurial consists in qualifying it in the most generic to the most precise manner.


Generic ingredient_format_qualifier 1_qualifier 2

More concretely, with almond powder, this gives: “Almond powder_brutes” which would be different from another ingredient titled “Almonds powder_white_extrafine”
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It does not seem, however, relevant to qualify the name of the ingredient according to its nature (food or non-food) or even according to its category (defined during the configuration of the application ) since Melba already manages these elements.

See article Configure your categories of ingredients and recipes

A single ingredient can support multiple supply units.
 ⏩ See article Units and their contexts

It should be understood that one can manage several suppliers and several packaging formats under the same item. However, when converting recipe data sheets into order items, Melba takes into account the supply unit designated as the "default unit". This implies that if you want to use precise packaging in a recipe, you must either make sure that the reference of the ingredient in question is the default, or create an ingredient per supply unit.

In this case, the product name must take these elements into account.


“Generic ingredient_qualifier_format 1_qualifier 2_packaging_supplier name”

More concretely, with almond powder, this gives: “Almonds powder_brutes_125g_Albert Ménès” which would be different from another ingredient titled “Almonds powder_white_extrafine_500g_Jean Hervé”
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We recommend that you use the “image” functionality as much as possible, allowing you to associate an ingredient with a product photo. This makes it possible to facilitate the recognition of the products used in the recipes, in particular within the framework of a collaborative work around the recipe data. To add a photo, click on the gray box showing an illustration and select the file chosen to illustrate the ingredient.

The use of the ingredient's internal code is more or less relevant depending on the operational habits of the user. However, it makes it possible to differentiate very similar items (fruit and vegetables) and to simplify the identification of a product.


Nature of the ingredient (solid or liquid food, non-food)

The qualification of the nature of the ingredient is necessary for the creation of a new item. Whether or not to be transformed, this automatically benefits from the item's property parameters (units of weight, volume, etc.)

  • Solid food : Will present units of weight only (e.g. vegetables, pasta...)
  • Liquid food : Will have units of weight and volume (e.g. drinks, oils, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous : Any non-food commodity. It can in some cases be associated with the constituent elements of the recipe (and therefore with the cost of the recipe) without it undergoing any transformation and its nutritional information is zero. These can be pure packaging elements  (eg: cardboard tray, plastic container)  or even consumable items linked to the recipe  (eg: disposable piping bags, plastic cutlery, etc.).

Multiple creations

Click on the floating button “Create multiple ingredients” accessible via the “ ++ ” at the bottom left.

Why opt for multiple creations?

With a basis similar to the simple creation. This list or table format allows you to create up to 50 ingredients very easily on the same screen.

This option offers the additional possibility of directly entering the purchase information of the items. Ideal for loading all the ingredients of a recipe at once and getting started very quickly with the benefit of cost indicators, margins...

Enter a purchase cost

The unit of purchase represents the packaging of the item and its cost in the context of its purchase. It is therefore associated with a given supplier. It can be a unit of weight, volume or parts.


  • If your greengrocer only supplies you with apples in 10kg crates, the supply unit will be: 1 10kg crate
  • If your dairy only supplies you with boxes of 8 500g jars of cream, you start to fill in the “jar of cream” unit: 1 “jar of cream” of 500g in the production units. Then you can indicate the supply unit: 1 “box” of 8 jars.


To indicate the purchase or supply units of an item, click on “ Add a purchase cost ”:

Select the purchase packaging from the drop-down menu.

If you cannot find the desired supply unit, you must:

  1. Click on “ Create a unit ” at the end of the drop-down menu
  2. Indicate the name of the new "Cardboard" unit, enter the quantity and choose the associated "8 - jars" unit, then confirm.
  3. Fill in the purchase cost opposite : X € / unit selected
    Fill in the supplier and the product code (optional)
  4. Validate

Check and then create the ingredients

Add lines by 1/5/10 if you lack any, by clicking on the corresponding green dot at the bottom left of the screen.

Delete the blank or excess lines by clicking on the " Delete empty lines " link at the bottom right of the screen.

Perform a final check by scrolling through the list. An error will be indicated by a "!" red and a message on the corresponding line.

Validate the creation of your list of ingredients!

Import ingredients from files

⏩ Look at the dedicated article about importing ingredients from a file