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  • Precision in the kitchen

    Cooking - at its most basic - is a science. Accurate measurements make as much of a difference in the kitchen as they do in the laboratory. This is where a good kitchen scale is necessary.

    Scales are especially useful for baking. Too much of one ingredient - flour, anyone? - can ruin a pastry or cake. The same goes for yeast when baking bread. And sometimes you just can't depend entirely on your measuring cup for accuracy. Depending on how long that brown sugar has been sitting in your pantry, it could be rock-hard or loose in its consistency, which can completely throw off measurements unless you're using a kitchen scale.

    Digital kitchen scales are an ideal option because of the advanced features they offer. Instead of measuring each ingredient individually, you can use the tare button on a digital scale to subtract the weight value of the actual mixing bowl, thus allowing you to add ingredients directly to the bowl.

    Modern-day kitchen scales are easy to use, easy to clean and compact enough to store away or leave on your countertop. Some space-saver versions even mount to your kitchen wall. Just remove the scale and the built-in infrared technology will display the weight on the wall receiver.

    Digital scales also make life easier for people battling illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Because diet is so important, food accuracy is essential. This is where a good nutritional scale comes into play.

    Newfangled digital scales now display more than weights and measurements. They also display nutritional values like the amount of protein, fat, fiber, calories, carbohydrates and cholesterol in certain food products - and even have built-in memories to track daily caloric intake.

    For diabetics, precise measurements of food is key, specifically of carbohydrates, for controlling blood glucose levels. It isn't wise to entirely trust food labels when monitoring your blood sugar. What might contain a "small" amount of carbohydrates at home may not be the same as at your favorite eatery. Travel scales are a must-have in this case.

    A quality kitchen scale does not have to be expensive. Prices vary depending on the brand, weight capacity and measuring capabilities. Most digital kitchen scales range anywhere from $25 to $100. It's worth the investment.