Tellspec’s mission is to help create a clean food revolution by providing consumers with information about what is really in their food beyond the nutrition label. As the world’s first consumer food sensor, Tellspec identifies calories, macronutrients, and allergens in foods, as well as specific nutritional information such as glycemic index and fiber. For diabetic people, Tellspec is an indispensable tool that helps them manage their disease. We hope that we will spark vital change in the way people eat and the way food is currently produced. Our goal is to make our food analysis system available to everyone, everywhere, and to encourage others to use our tools to invent more great ways to improve human health.
How does Tellspec work?
When you beam the light in the Tellspec Food Sensor at a food product, some of the photons in the light are absorbed, which raises the energy states of the molecules in the food. Lower-energy photons are then reflected back. The spectrometer inside the Tellspec Food Sensor sorts these photons by wavelength and counts them. The resulting numbers, called a spectrum, describe the chemical compounds in the food. This spectrum is uploaded to Tellspec’s analysis engine where the food spectrum is analyzed for the characteristics of various macronutrients, allergens, and other components of the food. Information about the food composition is then downloaded and displayed on your smartphone.
What is Tellspec?
Tellspec brings together spectroscopy and learning algorithms in a revolutionary system that can analyze the chemical composition of simple foods. This system consists of a convenient handheld scanner communicating with a fast cloud analysis engine. These work together to gather a spectrum of your food, analyze that spectrum, and display information about the food in an easy-to-understand interface on your smart phone.
What problem does Tellspec solve?
The quality of your health depends on what you eat. Tellspec helps you understand the connections between food composition and health. Do your foods contains the nutrients you need? What about things like sodium or trans fats that you might be trying to avoid? Food labels can give you some information if they’re available, but they are not always intelligible and some ingredients may not even be reported. Tellspec tells you about calories, macronutrients, ingredients, chemicals, and allergens. But Tellspec also provides you timely research information about the connections between these ingredients and your health with a digital encyclopedia called Tellspecopedia.
How does the analysis of the food work?
The handheld Tellspec Food Sensor is a spectrometer. The lamp inside the scanner emits light through the front window. Reflected light from the sample is collected and converted into an electrical signal that is digitized and sent to your smartphone over Bluetooth. The smart phone sends this signal to our servers in the cloud for analysis. Tellspec’s algorithms do the analysis of the spectrum for information about the food, and send the results back to your phone for you to see.
What type of spectroscopy does Tellspec use?
Tellspec uses near-infrared spectroscopy in the wavelength range 900 nm to 1700 nm.
While the Tellspec Food Sensor is an amazing tool, it is not a medical device and we do not suggest that you depend on Tellspec if you have an allergy. You must proceed with caution in dealing with food allergies for both yourself and your family. The product may not find trace amounts of allergens in food, or allergens hidden in parts not scanned.
It is our goal to provide the best possible technology and capabilities. Tellspec’s algorithms will take the first year after development to compile reference food data slowly but thoroughly. Thus, for the first version we are focusing on calories, macronutrients, fiber, glycemic index, glycemic load, and some allergens, and only in simple foods. Note also that our algorithms for detection are not born with all the food experience needed in order to be detailed and complete in their identification of food composition. The more food “experience” it accumulates, the better the technology will get. With the initial version, beta Tellspec testers will be able to scan simple foods (like fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy foods) and receive relevant data about the calories, macronutrients, ingredients, and allergens in that particular item of food.
Yes, Tellspec can penetrate below the surface of a food. Typically Tellspec will be able to penetrate up to a maximum of 15 to 20 mm below the surface but how deep depends on how translucent the food is to infrared light.
When Tellspec is released, the information on allergens will include a few allergens like gluten, or milk in certain foods. Tellspec is not a medical device and therefore our detection of allergens is not done with an accuracy of parts per billion; our device should only be used as a precaution and not as a medical device. Our scanner may not find trace amounts of allergens in food, or allergens hidden in parts not scanned.
Tellspec Food Sensor will not scan through opaque packaging, but it may be able to scan through thin clear plastic.