Technology and nutrition go hand in hand. So much so that consumer nutritional analysis applications are flourishing on the market. They provide a product’s nutritional information with just a simple scan of its barcode. These applications deserve credit for existing and helping consumers. However, the reliability of data sources must be questioned. It goes without saying that any information from a polluted source will be, too.
Is food product information reliable?
A consumer application just won’t do for those who work professionally in the industry in catering or at restaurant chains! They need a software with state-of-the-art algorithms to ensure that data is accurate and adapted to their context.
Consumer applications lack precision and responsiveness. The proof is that information for the same product differs depending on which application is used. The reason is simple: the databases referenced by these applications suffer from quality issues. These databases are often put together by volunteers, much like Wikipedia. This explains why data can be incomplete or in no way verified.
On top of this, omissions and inconsistencies exist on the labeling and in the data provided by producers. According to recent tests conducted by Youmeal on more than 3,000 food products, 70% of industrial food items have incorrect, incomplete or ambiguous information.
What’s more worrying is that 12% of products display false or poorly referenced information related to allergens. The consequences of this lack of information can be very disruptive or even fatal. Hence an interest in artificial intelligence that can detect and correct any inconsistencies.
The added value of software that verifies and enhances data
Consumers should be able to count on having reliable data when making personal purchases or when they eat out. Whether at a cafeteria or a restaurant, they want to know whats on their plate. But nowadays, the consumer rarely enjoys complete and objective information.
Positioned precisely on the professional marketplace, Youmeal has developed artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. These algorithms are able to verify, correct and enhance the nutritional information for thousands of products at unrivaled speeds.
Not only does the software work with complete nutritional information, after verifying information sources, it also calculates a product’s environmental impact. This type of information is currently missing from labels.
What is artificial intelligence capable of in the food industry?
The Youmeal-developed software is capable of correcting the nutritional data of industrial products in several ways:
- The software recognizes the ingredients making up a product in several languages, even if they’re misspelled.
- By linking the ingredients to their corresponding allergens, it can spot an allergen that would not otherwise be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients.
- The AI compares a product to other similar products in its vast database to find discrepancies in caloric content, for example. Is the food too rich… or is it a typo? The software will suggest a correction. Want another example? If a product has the ingredient “spices,” the algorithm may recategorize it as “may contain celery” (an allergen), if other products in that group contain it.
- The machine supports variations in a product’s composition. For example, if a manufacturer changes the breadcrumbs recipe for its fish sticks and now uses wheat instead of corn, the machine will automatically report the presence of gluten in those fish sticks.
- Finally, the AI continuously improves its information processing thanks to the “machine learning” system that is supplied with human input.
Behind the artificial intelligence is also human intelligence. There’s a team of IT specialists and nutritionists that analyzes and processes the software-provided data.
And when the AI detects an error, Youmeal will inform the producers and suggest that they update their labelling. This kind of data enhancement offers a real benefit to the final consumer.
Need a tool for more accurate information about the ingredients in your dishes? With Youmeal, you get verified and up-to-date data so that you can adapt your recipes and enhance your consumer information. Try our Youmeal software.