SEP 13, 2015 1:20 PM PDT

Pocket Device Analyzes Chemical Composition of Food, Drink and Medication

WRITTEN BY: Sarah Hertrich

Imagine being able to scan your plate of food at a restaurant with your smart phone and know instantly what exactly was put into you food. Seem far-fetched? Maybe not. An Israeli start-up has launched a pocket device which can connect to your smart phone and instantly analyze the chemical composition of food, drink, medication or other objects. The mini scanner tool, known as SCiO, sends data on the chemical makeup of a substance to the user's smartphone, where a variety of applications will present the results. The device has only been on the market for one month.

Users will be able to see how many calories are in the food on their plate, what is in their drink, or what type of material your clothing is made from (for example if something is made from real or fake leather). Direct contact contact the substance being tested is not needed because it uses a beam of light in what is known as Near Infrared Spectroscopy. Each molecule interacts with light to create a unique optical signature, which can reveal an object's chemical properties, such as moisture, fat or sugar content. By examining, for example, the sugar content of a fruit on the supermarket shelf, the device can determine how ripe it is.

Sources: BioSpace, ScienceDaily, Business Insider
About the Author
  • I am a postdoctoral researcher with interests in pre-harvest microbial food safety, nonthermal food processing technologies, zoonotic pathogens, and plant-microbe interactions. My current research projects involve the optimization of novel food processing technologies to reduce the number of foodborne pathogens on fresh produce. I am a food geek!
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