Gatorade drinkers wondering about the calcium pantothenate in their favorite sports drink won't have to guess much longer.
INRFOOD, a mobile application and website created by a group of Durham startups, will allow users to scan the bar codes of food products and see the ingredients. The application will launch by the end of November and is the brainchild of Jaargon, a health care startup in the American Tobacco Campus' American Underground complex.
"With health care, we need to get back to basics," said Jaargon CEO Keval Mehta. "One of the problems is that we don't look at the components of food, the ingredients. We're educating users on what this stuff is, where it comes from."
The application, which has data on more than 200,000 products and 40,000 ingredients, lets users scan the bar codes of packaged foods through their iPhone camera or online via their webcam. The application then loads information on the product, providing facts on what the ingredients are used for and where they come from. The platform also color codes ingredients as red, yellow or green based on their nutritional value and includes special codes for medical considerations such as pregnancy and allergies or cultural preferences.
"If I scan a box of JELL-O, the gelatin in there is not vegetarian-friendly, and a little alarm will go off and tell me it's not suitable for me," said Mehta, a vegetarian.
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