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Tackle Your Food Allergies With Food Tech

If you have a food allergy or intolerance, or know someone who has, you’ll know how much of a pain it can be to find foods that are suitable to eat. Whether it’s eating at a friends house, grocery shopping or attempting to eat out at a restaurant, checking and double checking the ingredients in meals becomes a cumbersome task. If you get it wrong there can often be disastrous results, sometimes even life threatening.

Allergies and Intolerances On The Rise

Statistics show that the number of people with food allergies or intolerances is on the rise, with one in five Brits recorded as experiencing one of these conditions. Allergy UK states that “in the last decade, the cases of food allergies have doubled and the number of hospitalisations caused by severe allergic reactions has increased 7-fold”. That’s some pretty scary numbers!

With such a prevalent problem it’s reassuring to see that government agencies and food manufacturers are starting to provide education and solutions aimed at helping those who suffer from the conditions. The Food Standards Agency in the UK produces informative leaflets and the EU even brought in new allergen labelling rules in December 2014. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in The States brought about a similar law in 2006.

Tackling The Problem

Leaflets and laws are all well and good but they’re a bit boring. Much more interesting approaches are leveraging tech and providing solutions direct to consumers, making food choices easier for those with allergies and intolerances. Spoon Guru is one such solution. It’s an easy to use app that offers a comprehensive choice of ingredients, products and recipes for those living with multiple allergies, food intolerances or unique dietary preferences.

We came across Spoon Guru at the Food Matters Live conference and were immediately drawn to the effectiveness of the app (having previously had intolerances affect our eating choices). Markus Stripf the co-founder and CEO of Spoon Guru had this to say about how the app worked and what it was aiming to achieve.

“We are all unique and so are our allergies and dietary preferences. Someone with an egg allergy may also be a vegetarian who prefers a low­-sugar diet. No matter how complex the need, Spoon Guru is designed to find food that’s just right for that person. We want to focus on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t.”

Allergy App For All

Whether you, or your family, follow a gluten-­free, milk­-free, vegan, paleo, nut­-free, shellfish-­free, low sugar, or organic diet, Spoon Guru caters for thousands of allergy combinations. Simply tap to create a personal food profile by setting preferences against a list of more than 20 food intolerances and lifestyle diets. Then Spoon Guru immediately searches hundreds of thousands of food sources, curating ingredients, recipes and supermarket products exactly to the preferences of the user. By analysing ingredients in detail and then matching results, Spoon Guru delivers food choices that cautious eaters can eat, rather than telling them what they can’t eat.

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The profile section of the app allows you to specify particular food allergies and intolerances as well as any lifestyle choices that you may have. This means that even the lactose and gluten intolerant paleo eaters are catered for. The app has a really simple intuitive design and comes with loads of functionality:

  • an “inspire me” feature which suggests recipes that meet your dietary needs which you might be interested in
  • search for recipes, which displays ingredients, the nutritional information and full cooking instructions (integrated with external recipe sites)
  • search for a particular product, again displaying the nutritional information along with where the product is available for purchase
  • scan the barcode of a product to check it doesn’t contain any of your dietary exclusions
  • save products/recipes to your favourites

Where To Get It

The Spoon Guru app is available in the app store to download for free. Or, if you want to check out more information about the app visit Spon Guru’s website or follow @SpoonguruUK on Twitter.


Sources

https://www.allergyuk.org/allergy-statistics/allergy-statistics

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