Innovation That Matters

iPhone app delivers nutrition analysis of supermarket foods

Work & Lifestyle

UK consumers can already turn to mySupermarket for grocery store price comparisons as they shop online. Now, Fooducate brings similar capabilities to the world of nutrition through an iPhone app that helps US shoppers find the healthiest foods. Supermarket shoppers must typically make countless product comparisons and decisions as they navigate the aisles of their favourite grocery store, and nutrition information labels only help so much; still lurking unaccounted for in many products are trans fats, sugars, artificial flavours and other offenders of good health. With the Fooducate iPhone app, shoppers can simply scan a barcode for product highlights — both good and bad — as well as to compare products and find better alternatives. Scan a box of Apple Jacks cereal, for instance, and Fooducate will point out the 3 teaspoons of added sugar and controversial colourings. Try Cranberry Almond Crunch instead and you’ll discover a whopping 3.5 teaspoons of added sugar plus the fact that it’s not actually whole grain. Created by a team of dieticians and concerned parents, Fooducate currently covers more than 160,000 products, and that number is growing daily. The free Fooducate app is now available in Apple’s App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It is not affiliated with any food manufacturer, supplement company or diet plan. Just as transparency tyranny has increasingly opened up pricing to greater scrutiny and accountability, so does it promise to do the same for nutrition information, which is another area that’s traditionally been fairly opaque. Opportunities for this one? It’s the smart grocer who will partner with or emulate Fooducate for a branded app that can be offered as a perk to shoppers and then used to keep them hooked with additional special offers and other enticements. And how about you, restaurateurs? After all, it’s only by making transparency tyranny your friend that you can turn it into transparency triumph. Start planning now! (Related: Contest chooses apps to help fight childhood obesityCaffeine test strips reveal the truth about that cup of joeThe nutritional low-down on fast-food restaurantsBringing transparency to restaurant kitchens.) Spotted by: Jay Parkinson Correction: We initially reported that Fooducate was developed by an Israel-based team of dieticians. It was in fact created by American dietitians (and parents), and part of the software development was done in Israel.



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