New barcode scanning app sniffs out gluten

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Posted by glutenfr | Posted in Lifestyle, News, Product reviews, Science | Posted on 08-04-2013

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GoScan web

Gluten-free shoppers finally have access to an iPhone app that let you scan a product barcode in the supermarket to find out if contains gluten.

The free app, dubbed GS1 GoScan, was launched a couple of week ago and is available for download from the iTunes store. The Coeliac Society was involved in the development along with a handful of other health organisations.

Once you download the GoScan app – plus a barcode reading app – you just scan the barcode with your phone during shopping. Alternatively, you can manually type in the bar code number, or do a text search based on a product description or brand – but that sounds like a lot more trouble.

What’s really good about this app is that you can also adjust your settings to alert you when you scan a product containing gluten (or something else, say if you’re allergic to nuts, are vegan or prefer organic). Here’s a YouTube blurb on how it works.

There is a catch of course. You can’t get info on that many products yet (about 5,000 or so at present) but unlike other smartphone apps and websites available in Australia, this app sources its info directly from food manufacturers so the list should grow in coming months.

The main challenge, according to its developers, is getting manufacturers and brand owners to continue to list their products. They’re not unwilling apparently. It’s just that the logistical exercise of getting the product data into one place has apparently been more challenging than expected. Around 70 companies, led by the multi-nationals, have so far started work on it.

You can download the free app from the iTunes store on to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch only at present, but the app is expected to be available on other smartphone platforms by the third quarter of this year.

I’ve already downloaded mine and I plan to start scanning products like a pro this week.

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Recipes include mini-skewers, wraps, and sushi, as well as some hot tips on how to breathe life into gluten-free bread.

 

Comments (1)

I think this is the BEST idea ever. I get so sick and tired of squinting and straining in the supermarket trying to read labels. But you are right.. 9 out of 10 items I scanned weren’t in the list yet. That’s disappointing. I do hope it improves.

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