This App Will Scan and Calculate Your Food’s Nutritional Value

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Ever wonder how many calories are really in the foods you eat? How much fat is in that slice of bread or chunk of cheese? The developers of a new app called DietSensor claim it will scan your food and provide an automatic breakdown of its nutritional value.

DietSensor, which will be released commercially in mid-2016, will work with SCiO, the world’s first handheld spectrometer. In other words, though the app works on both iPhone and Android, you’ll have to purchase the pricey spectrometer in order to use it.

At the press of a button, SCiO projects infrared light onto food to determine its chemical breakdown. According to the DietSensor website: “Each type of molecule in a food vibrates in its own unique way, and these vibrations interact with light to create a unique, optical signature. In brief, spectrometers analyze what is in a substance based on how its molecules interact with light.”

After scanning a piece of food, DietSensor sends the collected data to its cloud database to be analyzed; the results are then sent to your phone. The app can tell users how much fat, carbohydrates, and protein are in a food. At the moment, the app only works on homogenous foods and drinks like bread, vegetables, or dairy, so it can’t tell you how many calories are in foods with separate ingredients, such as a slice of pizza or a roll of sushi.

But DietSensor takes a more holistic approach to diet than simply scanning slices of bread: In addition to its spectrometer functions, the app will allow users to manually input data about any foods they consume, and provide nutritional feedback and suggestions. The aim is to promote healthy living, and to make food tracking easier for people with conditions affected by nutrition like diabetes and heart disease.

In an interview with Tech Insider, company founder Remy Bonasse explained that he was inspired to create the DietSensor, in part, by his daughter’s struggle with type 1 diabetes. DietSensor, according to Bonasse, will make it easier for anyone to maintain a healthy diet and keep track of what they’re eating.

[h/t: Tech Insider]