Tesco are said to be in talks with the inventors of a new “speaking” barcode scanner which reads out food ingredients to blind and partially sighted shoppers.

The scanner, named Tele-Eye by scientists at the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee, identifies the product and can give warnings over the presence of common allergy foods such as nuts.

Elderly customers who tested the scanner at a Spar supermarket in the Scottish town of Carnoustie have given the product the thumbs up.

According to the Royal National Institute for the Blind, about a fifth of people in the UK cannot read the small lettering on food or medicine labels.