scio scanner

A new pocket-sized sensor promises to provide a detailed report of the nutritional value of food and send it directly to a smartphone.

Scio by Consumer Physics can be used to scan and read the chemical make-up of individual items of food to provide a host of nutritional facts including the levels of fat and sugar.

Unlike other apps, it does not scan a barcode but the food itself. A spectroscopy in the scanner reads the vibrations of molecules within food and maps how they react with light. The device can be used on homogeneous food (such as cheese or bread), including homemade.

Designed to be useful for dieters or those suffering with diabetes, the device uses the collected data to provide a health profile charting the user’s daily food intake.

Scio also claims it can help identify which watermelon is the sweetest when shopping for groceries or tell when an avocado is going to ripen. Scio was founded by Rémy and Astrid Bonnasse when their daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which required her to closely monitor her carbohydrate intake and measure insulin.

The scanner is available for $249 (£170) and the app is free to download but requires a monthly $10 fee to use.