A new iPhone app dissects packaged food ingredients to provide information on harmful additives, toxic ingredients and genetically modified foods. The iScanMyFood app was released by IQ Advanced of San Diego, CA to allow consumers to learn more about the ingredients in the food and beverages purchased every day at the supermarket.
Not a bar code reader, it is rather an OCR (optical character reader) using advanced technology using the iPhone camera. The photo is then converted into text and processed through a proprietary software which pulls matching additives from a database and presents them to the end user as results. These results can then be named and saved in a personal database and also emailed for further research.
The app also helps track harmful ingredients in baby foods, cosmetics and pet food, including dog food, cat food, and animal feed for farm animals: horses, cows, cattle, pigs, poultry.
With concern growing over the years for obesity, diabetes, cancer, infertility, food allergies, skin allergies, hormonal imbalances, autism, ADHD and asthma, the app enables the consumer to gain understanding of the long term health side effects of chemicals, toxic food coloring (dyes) and preservatives.
Some of the additives, like those derived from GMOs, lack enough studies to show what the long-term outcome would be, but others, like more than 3,000 substances added to foods for the purpose of preserving, coloring, texturizing, and enhancing flavor, do have studies about their effects. Some have been shown to affect the RNA, thyroid, and enzymes.
There are two (2) versions of the iScan My Food iPhone app: a Lite version and a Pro version. The Lite version has 524 E-number additives and offers the full benefits of scanning ingredients on food packaging and cosmetics.
The Pro version has over 3,000+ additives.
Consumers can scan various foods and cosmetic products, track the ingredients on packages, and instantly recognize through a visual color coding system of red, yellow, green, and gray whether the food ingredients and additives are potentially harmful, have a warning, or are accepted to be safe. For each of the ingredients, the app offers a description, a list of possible side effects, and past or current ban in some countries.
Another benefit of the app is that it allows users to share their scanned food records with anyone they want to caution or inform about a product, as many additives can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. After scanning a food item, the consumer can save the product into a personal database.
Users and scientific researchers can save findings to the app’s database and email results to themselves or to colleagues for further research. Additionally the app results provide links to HarmfulAdditives.com with photos and in-depth related information, Web links, Blog postings and News Feeds about food and chemical additives.
The company also offers the app for private labeling through a partner program that lets companies privately label the app and use it as a health, marketing, and branding benefit.
(Get the iScanMyFood Pro app for $9.99 at iTunes)