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Food Scanner – award-winning technology platform combines compact, cost-efficient portable analyzer and cloud computing to create meaningful intelligence

Published 5.6.2017

Spectral Engines has developed a novel spectral sensing platform that offers unique benefits in many applications, such as food sensing and analysis. The Food Scanner solution concept utilizes the world’s smallest true NIR spectral sensing module, advanced algorithms, cloud-connectivity and a vast material library to reveal the fat, protein, sugar and total energy content of food items at good accuracy. Our Food Scanner –solution exploits well-proven infrared spectroscopic methods for material detection, giving it a high measurement performance in compact size. The solution is truly portable and easy to accommodate to other applications, both industrial and consumer.

Food related information creates added value for consumers

Our technology brings food analysis and dietary guidance to the reach of the consumer through compactness, low cost and ease of use. This wireless IR analyser platform has a potential of creating a significant impact on people’s health in EU and globally, will generate enormous business potential for European sensing, electronics and information industries. The device prototype has already been globally acknowledged in February 2016 as it was selected as the most innovative product in detector sand sensors category at the Phonics Prism Awards in San Francisco.

The main nutrition factors, fat, protein, carbohydrates and energy content can be measured below 5% detection limits. Also detection of allergens like egg, milk and gluten has been carried out successfully. The device software includes an easy-to-use graphical user interface and supports 3rd party developers for openness and Internet of Things connectivity. Sensor operations, calibrations and data analytics are run by sophisticated algorithms, making the platform reliable and automated. This gives rise to a new ecosystem around improving people’s lives through better diets.

Spectral Engines’ award-winning FoodScanner concept

Spectral Engines’ award-winning FoodScanner is wireless Bluetooth-connected, battery-powered scanner device which measures energy, fat, carbohydrate and protein content of different food ingredients. Totally 14 food sub-categories are created and device has also multiple scan possibility to averaging spectra from heterogeneous food. Spectral Engines developed also mobile phone app to run the device and get analysis results from cloud. Cloud platform enables to update calibration very fast. Advanced pre-treatment methods were implemented to optimize the reliability of measurement data.

Comprehensive spectrum library has been built by measuring 10 000 different food products. There are 14 different food categories, for example meat, milk and alcohol. New food products can be easily added to the library. As the number of measurements are growing, the smart algorithm improves the measurement results.

– Vegetables, important for their vitamins and minerals, and typically low in energy content.
– Grains, including seeds and nuts, and cereal products in general. Seeds and nuts can contain beneficial nutrients and fatty acids, although they are high in calories. Cereal products are generally high in fibre, but also have a lot of carbohydrates.
– Fruits, which are overall low in energy content although they contain a lot of natural sugars, fibre and vitamins.
– Fats, including vegetable oils and butter. Healthy sources of fat include nuts, fish, and certain fruits and vegetables, such as avocados.
– Meats, seafood, eggs and beans are major sources of protein and minerals and certain vitamins.
– Dairy products including milk, yoghurt and cheese. Dairy products are important for their calcium, protein, phosphorus, and vitamins A and D. Unfortunately, these products can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol content, which can be partially avoided by choosing low- or non-fat alternatives.

Spectral Engines’ scanner platform is easy to adapt into other applications

Our Food Scanner solution is an example of the Spectral Scanner platform that is truly portable and easy to accommodate to other applications, both industrial and consumer. The first realization of the analyzer device was awarded the Photonics Prism Award in detectors and sensors category at Photonics West 2016 in February. Food Scanner platform involves this portable analyzer platform that is combined with our advanced IoT Cloud solutions and artificial intelligence algorithms.

If you like to know more about Spectral Engines new NIRONE sensor platform, please visit at our booth in ICNIRS 2017 conference, Copenhagen or Laser of Photonics 2017 trade show, Munich.

We have also prepared the white paper about intelligent FoodScanner product platform. You can download this from this link.