New French app to help eat clean, waste less

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Eat less fat and less sweet, avoid allergies, buy more local and sustainable foods, all thanks to your mobile phone.

Dozens of applications are working to meet these increasingly pressing consumer expectations.

Created in 2012, Open Food Facts serves as a common foundation for most nutritional applications currently on the market. These include the popular Yuka app, which allows labels to be decrypted by scanning barcodes with your smart-phone.

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Julie Chapon is co-founder of the Yuka application.

“What is problematic here is that if you look at it, this soup is said to be free of coloring and preservatives, which is a somewhat misleading marketing message because this soup does not have any preservative, but it does have other additives, in particular a flavor enhancer. Here we are a bit deceived. We believe that the product is natural when it is not at all”, Chapon said.

Nicknamed “the Wikipedia of food”, this database is a collaborative platform that “explains product labels, ingredients and then translates them into types of allergens and supplements.

More than 370,000 food products have already been identified and the app has now been translated into some 50 languages.

“As it remains flexible enough, for us it is very practical because depending on what remains, we will be able to give it to people who will be able to eat it. So basically nothing is thrown away anymore”, said restauranteur Arnaud Dalibot.

The application is free for the moment. In the long run, Julie Chapon said additional paying features could emerge “but the core of the application will remain free”.

The app was funded through donations and personal funds and already offers a “nutrition program” for £59 which is available on its blog. Chapon said it will soon launch high-end premium features.