This Tiny Scanner Tells You What’s Exactly In Your Food

Want to make sure that you are eating clean, healthy food?

An innovative technology is currently being developed by three companies in order to make it possible for people to perform quick scans on their food and find out exactly what’s in them. With the use of this tiny handheld scanner, you will be able to tell if, for example, a leafy green vegetable has E. Coli. Or if the beef on the meat section is halal or horse meat.

According to Notable, tech firms TellSpec and SCiO are working together to complete these handheld scanners available to the general public soon. Meanwhile, retail company Target has started implementing optical scanning in their supply chain.

Photo credit: SCiO

Photo credit: SCiO

The SCiO scanner is currently priced at $320. It has the amazing capability to determine the amount of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and water in different types of food – from meat and dairy, to fruits and vegetables, to everything else in between.

The companies are actually setting their sights to decreasing the size of the scanner even more until it’s as small as a grain of rice. That way, the scanner can easily fit into a smartphone.

Tamar Haspel, food columnist of the Washington Post, gave insights on how the scanner works:

“Identifying a food and its characteristics based on the scan is a twofold job: First, you simply match the optical reading to a library of known objects; second, you read the topography of the graph to zero in on specific characteristics. The two together can tell you an awful lot about what you’re scanning.”

Meanwhile, food tech professional Brent Overcash enthusiastically welcomed the technology and commented:

“This is the ultimate lie detector. Strip away the branding, labeling and messaging: What is this thing?”

Although the technology is still in its infancy, experts believe that it will be able to have more complex capabilities in the years ahead.