Healthy eating has become a way of life for many. With more and more food allergies becoming prevalent and the rise of an obesity epidemic, everyone wants to know exactly what they’re consuming before they even purchase certain products. But how can one find out such information easily without having to decode the gibberish known as the nutrition label?
With FoodEssentials Scanner by FoodEssentials, of course! FoodEssentials Scanner allows users to scan or manually search for food labels, examining exactly what may be lurking in the package. Learn about various products’ allergen, additive, ingredient and nutritive properties to promote and achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Ideally designed with the iPhone 3GS camera in mind, FoodEssentials Scanner allows the camera to act as a barcode scanner. Simply align the label of the product in question with the onscreen brackets and FoodEssentials Scanner will process the barcode to give you a rundown of what ingredients and nutrients the item contains. If you do not have an iPhone 3GS, have no fear! Simply search the product you are looking for and any and all results matching that description will appear. Pick the one that adequate matches your item and enjoy the same level of service, as if you had just scanned the item yourself.
With a database of over 160,000 commercially available products, users can scan single or multiple items, either in store or at home, and compare items side-by-side. Users can also scroll through lists of similar food products and compare those labels side-by-side. Shake your device and only those items that have been highlighted will remain on your list.
When viewing a label, users can customize exactly what properties they see each time. With over 30,000 available ingredients, FoodEssentials Scanner indicates specific things to watch out for with its “traffic light” system, marking high-risk ingredients red, cautionary ingredients yellow, and safe ingredients green. Plus, users can learn about the given ingredients, including their “also known as” names if they have any.
FoodEssentials Scanner allows users to recall anything and everything they have ever scanned or searched by automatically saving their history each time they look for a product. Users can edit and manage these lists as they see fit.
However, be sure you live within the United States, for the information featured throughout FoodEssentials Scanner only pertains to America. This data also has yet to include products sold at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s and various specialty supermarkets across the nation, though this is in the process of being rectified. In fact, if you scan a product that does not show up in their database, FoodEssentials will work to get that item, meaning the more you scan the better.
Nevertheless, your access to the app and its data is limited to the one-year premium subscription you receive at the time of purchase. Though I haven’t found any concrete indication, I would think it’s safe to assume that, if you love FoodEssentials Scanner enough during your first year of use, there will most likely be a way to renew your subscription at the end of the year.
For a video demonstration of how FoodEssentials Scanner works, click here.
FoodEssentials Scanner requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is ideally compatible with the iPhone 3GS, though most key features work with earlier iPhone models and iPod Touch. A small fee was paid by the developer to expedite the publication of this review.