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Food Maestro – use your phone to instantly avoid allergy foods while shopping

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It seems that more and more people are suffering from allergic reactions to modern foods. It’s not just gluten, but a widening variety of food, mostly processed, which seem to be causing problems. One of the problems that creates is trying to avoid dangerous products when shopping, which can be very time consuming. But now a new free app aims to make things much easier.

Food Maestro, available for iPhone and Android, is an automated label reading app which lets you use your smartphone to verify the contents of any branded food product in your local supermarket, and see whether it’s suitable for your body. The system uses the barcode scanner on the phone, works with three major supermarkets in the UK – Waitrose, Asda and Morrisons – and contains data on over 100,000 items from those stores.

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The key part of the app is the fact that multiple users can be set up once, along with their particular allergies, and from then on the app does all the hard work filtering out and warning about potentially nasty products which could cause problems. There’s also an online portal for those who prefer to manage things on a bigger screen.

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It’s a sad sign of the times that this sort of product exists at all, but at least there are moves to make it easier to keep track of products rather than have to laboriously read labels while you stand in the aisle. Just scan the barcode of the product, and within a few seconds the app will display a smiley or sad face to indicate whether the item is safe to buy. The app was developed by top dieticians and allergists.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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