Scan your food to reveal its nutritional value | The Daily Star
12:01 PM, January 06, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:19 PM, January 06, 2016

Scan your food to reveal its nutritional value

Ever felt curious about just how many carbs and calories are sitting on your dinner plate? A new gadget has been invented which promises to reveal the nutritional value of your meal !

French startup DietSensor launched at the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show a pocket-sized, Bluetooth-connected molecular sensor called SCiO. It uses near-infrared spectroscopy (the analysis of how molecules interact with light) to determine the chemical makeup of food and drink, reports Mashable. SCiO can analyze substances based on how their molecules interact with light.

While this may sound like a dream tool for dieters, the SCiO is primarily aimed at helping those with conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases keep a close eye on their diet.

In a demo for Mashable, the SCiO scanner was held over a piece of cheese. After one click of a button, the corresponding app revealed the fat content, carbs and related tips — i.e. you shouldn't exceed more than 54 grams of this type of product in a given time period. That data was added to health profile which showed a progress chart of your daily food intake. We should note, however, that the demo included food provided by the company. We'll do a full review when the product officially launches.

Founders Remy and Astrid Bonnasse came up with the concept in 2014 when their 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, which required her to monitor the carbohydrate intake of each meal and measure insulin.

Ultimately, the couple developed a nutrition coaching app and worked with Israeli company Consumer Physics for the gadget that uses science to automate the process. The concept uses spectroscopy, which highlights how food molecules in food vibrate in a unique manner when it interacts with light. While this method has been used in science labs before, the DietSensor brings it to a consumer tool for the first time, the company said.

Although the scanner only reads homogeneous food (such as cheese, cracker, bread) and wouldn't be able to pick up all of the ingredients in a sandwich, the app allows you to input more complex meals manually.

It works on homemade food too, so if you want that piece of cake your friend is having for a birthday, you'll be able to scan its nutrition first.

The SCiO scanner is available for $249, while the app is free to download but requires a monthly $10 fee.


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