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The calorie is a pre-SI metric unit of energy. The unit was first defined by Professor Nicolas Clément in 1824 as a unit of heat. This definition entered French and English dictionaries between 1841 and 1867. In most fields its use is archaic, having been replaced by the SI unit of energy, the joule. However, in many countries it remains in common use as a unit of food energy. In the context of nutrition, and especially food labelling, the terms calorie (or Calorie) and kilocalorie are interchangeable. In either case the unit is approximately equal to 4.2 kJ.

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