(Video Source: GE Research)
Researchers at GE have created a prototype device that instantly measures the calories in your food. So far it only works on blended food items and the calorie counter would require a homogenous mixture in order to get an exact reading. Researchers are hoping to create a variant of the device that will focus on the calories in a plate of food for example measure calories of the fondue, steamed veggies and sourdough bread and send the data to your smartphone.
Matt Webster, the senior researcher in diagnostic imaging and biomedical technologies at GE Research who created the calorie counter, says in the end the gadget may be embedded into a microwave oven or some other appliance. Heat your food, and in the meantime get readout of the exact calorie count, without measuring different portions on the plate and consult various nutritional charts.
Webster scrutinized dietary information from the U.S. Branch of Agriculture, which holds detailed data on thousands of food items and established that it’s likely to get a exact calorie assessment utilizing only three bits of information fat content, water content, and weight. The calories from the various constituents of food, for example, sugar, fiber, and protein - could be approximated by subtracting the water and fat weight from the aggregate weight.
In tests utilizing the model to measure mixtures of oil, sugar, and water, results were inside 5 to 10 percent of the results from standard, detrimental method for measuring calorie substance such as the bomb calorimeter that measures food calorie content by smoldering it.
Calorie counter works by passing low-energy microwaves through a weighed bit of food and measuring how the microwaves are changed by the food fat and water influence the microwaves in distinguishing ways. The process is made possible by creating microwave antennas that structure a more uniform distribution of microwaves than the current equipment and utilizing various algorithms in order to get an average figure or by dynamically scanning the food item. The complete estimation process barely takes a second or two.
Currently, few other researchers are developing devices that are showcased into the retail sector for being able to count calories, many of which emerge on various crowd-funding sites. However, such devices are normally limited to counting the surface of the food items, but cannot work effectively with items such as a burrito, where most of the calories are wrapped inside.
“We’re looking at waves that pass all the way through the food. So you’re getting a complete measurement of the entire food,” Webster says.