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Foresight draws attention to how our changing lifestyles are affecting attitudes towards food and the adverse impact this has on  public health. Foresight concludes: there is a lack of easy-access to essential information on food issues and there are also serious gaps in this information.

The strength of the Foodcounts® proposed system is: (a) identifying the need for a radical change in the presentation and accessibility of this food-knowledge and (b) developing a range of core services for delivery of this food-knowledge to a far wider market audience, including both consumer and food seller.

Our business will be modelled around 4 distinct markets:  (a) the top segment of the food retail market (b) white-goods manufacturers (c) the health and fitness consumer market, and (d) consumers with disabilities. By concentrating on these 4 distinct sectors, and by adopting a co-ordinating approach, we see a strong market opportunity to fill the data services vacuum that is currently restricting any realistic application of the intelligent kitchen and the ultimate healthcare vision.


What is Foodcounts®

Foodcounts® is a multi-level food information and ordering service incorporating state of the art voice-interface. It is a complete Food Management System.

To fully understand what this means, 10 key terms are defined. These terms, and the concepts they embody, provide the essential background to the Foodcounts® development, and also serve as precision shorthand  when explaining the system detail. These definitions  are: [skip]

Foresight is managed by the Office of Science and Technology and looks beyond normal commercial time horizons to identify potential opportunities from new science and technologies. The Food Panel's overall conclusion is that there is a prime need  to improve trust and confidence in the information supplied and received throughout the food chain.

Core-identity is a computer generated or other digitised code that specifies a person or thing, and has the prime purpose of creating and maintaining a digital identity on which other digital information can be centred (e.g. barcodes, birth certificates, national insurance numbers)

Food-item is any food or drink product that is sold through a food retail outlet and which would be scanned at point of sale (and thereby represented as a single line item on a till receipt or equivalent). Each food-item is identified by a barcode printed on packaging (or in a manual directory in the case of unpackaged food). Food-items of different sizes, or in multi-pack, will have unique ID's.

Food-item Knowledge is a series of data sets that provide additional information on food-items:- manufacturer / seller / packaging / cooking / freezing / storage / nutrition / ingredients / micro-ingredients / risk-ingredients / functional-ingredients. These data sets combine information published by the food-item manufacturer and official government sources.

Food-item Taxonomy is the overall classification system of food-items. The prime classification is by alpha sequence from which most large retailers have adopted a 5-tier hierarchy of : department / aisle / section /shelf / brand. These are in-store orientated classifications and impact on the ease and efficiency of food-item search and location. There are a series of other typologies based on the data sets that make up the food-item knowledge. The prime classes are by: ingredient(s) / portion sizes / calorie levels / fat levels / preparation times / cooking options.

Extended Labelling is the compilation and presentation of the food-item knowledge in a format and sequence that is compatible with food-item package labelling.

Intelligent Kitchen refers to the application of co-ordinated computer technologies driving electrical appliances. The focus is on the monitoring of food of food usage and the automation of preparation.

Inter-operability enables food-item knowledge to be accessed by the full range of interface devices: conventional phone / conventional mobile / WAP mobile / 3G mobile / PC keyboard / PC voice / PC text reader / PDA's / interactive digital TV / portable and embedded barcode readers

Data Manipulation is the interrogation, extraction and computation of food-item knowledge from a multiple database. 

Food-item Disambiguation is an interactive dialogue between the computer and the user, with dynamically structured questions to resolve ambiguity over the identity of a given food-item and the precise nature of any required data manipulation.


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