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food scanners

Don’t be fooled by looks – Find out what’s really in your food

Interested to know how many carbs and calories are in your meal? A latest gadget has the potential to disclose the nutritional content of your meal by checking its chemical makeup. French startup DietSensor unveiled at the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show a mini-sized, Bluetooth-connected molecular sensor called SCiO. It utilizes near-infrared spectroscopy (the study of how particles interact with light) to establish the chemical structure of the food in just ten seconds.

You can point it to a piece of chicken, bread, and cheese, and it’ll give you their nutritional values via the DietSensor app. While this may seem like a dream device for dieters, the SCiO is mainly aimed at helping those with ailments such as diabetes or cardiovascular disorders keep a close eye on their eating habits. In the presentation at the conference, the SCiO scanner was held over a chuck of cheese. After one click of a button, the device disclosed the fat content, carbs and other food parameters. That data was then attached to the health profile which indicated a progress chart of your day-to-day food consumption.

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Founders Remy and Astrid Bonnasse came up with the idea in 2014 when their 9-year-old daughter was detected with Type 1 Diabetes, which necessitated her to check the carbohydrate intake of each meal and calculate insulin levels. Eventually, the couple created a nutrition training app and worked with the Israeli company Consumer Physics for the building of the device. While this technique has been used in science labs before, the device is intended for the standard consumer. The Scio Scanner and DietSensor offer real-time results and help even the strictest dieters and patients on a pre-determined diet strategy. Both the SCiO scanner and its associated app can help users keep track of their personal dietary choices.

Although the scanner only inspects homogeneous food (such as cheese, bread) and wouldn’t be able to pick up all of the ingredients in a sandwich, the app permits you to input more complex meals manually. This scanner works on homemade food too, so if you want to have that piece of cake your friend is having for a birthday, you’ll be able to check its nutrition first and then decide on it. It can also scan food barcodes to note the distinct ingredients’ nutritional facts.

DietSensor is one of the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2016 Innovation Award honorees under the Software and Mobile App group. Nutritionists and health professionals have been using it to generate tailor fit dietary schedules.

Currently, smartphone apps can give immediate suggestions on where and what to eat, movies to see, fastest directions to from one place to another. However, DietSensor is the first mobile app to team up with SCiO in the food scanners sector, nevertheless, more apps are anticipated to roll out as designers around the world are developing further applications to go with the food scanners. This scanner can also detect the moisture levels of the plants. Who knows, maybe in the near future, food scanners can be used to evaluate blood samples.

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