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[Engadget] TellSpec identifies food ingredients and calories using science, magic. - Page 4

post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

How would it know the calories per gram of food though?

Do you know how nutritional labels work? They guesstimate how much protein, fat, and sugar is in something by weigh of ingredients.... look up the value in a database... and print it. The value can be be off by as much as 40%....

It would know the calories per gram the same way the labels "know" the calories per gram of a food. It would give pretty much the same information. How far off these databases and food labels are is an entirely different matter.

As to how calories are calculated from macro nutrients, I'm pretty well acquainted with that. 4 calories per gram of protein and carbs - 9 calories per gram of fat. Pretty standard stuff. I've never looked into how they arrive at how many grams of each macro are in each food, though. 40% is quite a lot. Link to an interesting article or study?
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post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaldari View Post

As to how calories are calculated from macro nutrients, I'm pretty well acquainted with that. 4 calories per gram of protein and carbs - 9 calories per gram of fat. Pretty standard stuff. I've never looked into how they arrive at how many grams of each macro are in each food, though. 40% is quite a lot. Link to an interesting article or study?

From what I remember, the 4+4+9 is a rough estimate. I'll have to dig around for the link to a food database, which is a lot more precise.
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post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaldari View Post

It would know the calories per gram the same way the labels "know" the calories per gram of a food. It would give pretty much the same information. How far off these databases and food labels are is an entirely different matter.

As to how calories are calculated from macro nutrients, I'm pretty well acquainted with that. 4 calories per gram of protein and carbs - 9 calories per gram of fat. Pretty standard stuff. I've never looked into how they arrive at how many grams of each macro are in each food, though. 40% is quite a lot. Link to an interesting article or study?

I still don't get it... how would a weak spectrometer know what food it's scanning? This scanner won't be able to even identify what it is scanning.

Labels don't know the calories per gram of a food..... the manufacturer calculates that based on knowing the composition and slapping a label on it.


http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/02/12/opinion/100000002061153/calorie-detective.html
http://www.npr.org/2011/08/03/138957969/counting-calories-is-a-tricky-business
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post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

I still don't get it... how would a weak spectrometer know what food it's scanning? This scanner won't be able to even identify what it is scanning.

Labels don't know the calories per gram of a food..... the manufacturer calculates that based on knowing the composition and slapping a label on it.


http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/02/12/opinion/100000002061153/calorie-detective.html
http://www.npr.org/2011/08/03/138957969/counting-calories-is-a-tricky-business

I understand that manufacturers likely don't burn the food to calculate exact calorie amounts. It's pretty much always done by knowing the amount of each macro nutrient. Though it could be said that this is "knowing the calories per gram of a food", assuming the macro calculation is reasonably accurate. I didn't read the articles yet. I will in a bit.

Regardless of how food label are calculated, the point I was making is that this device would display the estimates calories per serving based on the same principle. IF a device could scan food and generally know what it's looking at, then pulling such information from a database would be a trivial thing to parse.
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post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaldari View Post

IF a device could scan food and generally know what it's looking at, then pulling such information from a database would be a trivial thing to parse.
That would be true... but that's a massive IF statement. Something akin to "if pigs could fly"! tongue.gif

The scanner would have know what to scan... i.e. A cherry or the entire ice cream sundae?
It would have to scan the entire food item inside and out. That means it would have to penetrate an non-homgenous item and know when to stop. It also would have to do this non-destructively.

There's no lab or industrial equipment (that I know of) that can do this today without destroying the food in the process. If there is, I would expect it to be something over $1M..... because it's such a hard problem.
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post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

That would be true... but that's a massive IF statement. Something akin to "if pigs could fly"! tongue.gif

The scanner would have know what to scan... i.e. A cherry or the entire ice cream sundae?
It would have to scan the entire food item inside and out. That means it would have to penetrate an non-homgenous item and know when to stop. It also would have to do this non-destructively.

There's no lab or industrial equipment (that I know of) that can do this today without destroying the food in the process. If there is, I would expect it to be something over $1M..... because it's such a hard problem.

If something like this worked through reflected visible light, then obviously there wouldn't be much penetration. I think they would primarily be going for a general understanding of what the dish is as a whole as you wave the device over it. If you hide something atypical for that dish in the center, like say a scoop of ice cream under a stack of lettuce and tomato in a salad, then the readout would obviously be inaccurate. The accuracy would be limited to however extensive their database is.

Again though, this whole conversation solely related to the "calories per serving" bit of the readout that was originally mentioned earlier. Whether or not it's physically possible for any device to do whatever this is claiming is a separate point.

I guess only time will tell, though I'm obviously extremely skeptical and don't expect much at this point.
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post #37 of 39
I'm calling BS on this one. They're proposing to do in 9 months what universities and researches have been trying to do for decades in miniaturizing a raman spectrometer without a single qualified person on their team.

Do your part, contact indiegogo and point them to both the campaign and the randi.org link.
    
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post #38 of 39
This is a clever scam campaign to take the money and run. If you really think you can make an app that can give you the total caloric output of a meal, then you need to get in touch with reality.

The earth was considered flat by the majority of the populous not 400 years ago.. You're giving us way more credit than we deserve.
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xentrox View Post

The earth was considered flat by the majority of the populous not 400 years ago..
No, it wasn't....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth#Declining_support_for_the_flat_earth
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