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Foodcounts food diary system of nutrition monitoring (draft)


Foresight, the government panel on future technology, warns that our changing lifestyles are affecting attitudes towards food and that this has an adverse impact  on public health. Foresight concludes there is a lack of easy-access to essential information on food issues. Foresight also identifies serious gaps in the span and scale of this information 

The strength of the Foodcounts proposed system is in:- 

  • originating a radical change in the range and depth of this food-knowledge 
  • introducing a new concept in methods of knowledge enquiry and presentation
  • offering a full choice of knowledge-delivery across all reception devices

And our business will be modelled around 4 distinct markets:-  

  • the top segment of the food retail market, focussing initially on the the top 5 
  • manufacturers of fridges, freezers, microwaves and ovens 
  • the health and fitness consumer market in both private and public sectors 
  • consumers with disabilities, particularly the blind and partially sighted 


image of food

What is it?

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 explain this, we have formulated 5 original descriptive terms:- 






A Food-Item is any food or drink product that is sold through a food retail outlet and scanned at point of sale. Each food-item is identified from a barcode pre-printed on the package, from an in-store overprint, or taken from a manual directory in the case of unpackaged foods. Food-items of different sizes, or in multi-pack, will have unique ID's. 

Food-Item-Knowledge is the combination of data-sets that provide additional information on each individual food-item, such as: *manufacturer *seller *packaging *cooking *freezing *storing *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 product classification system and an integral part of food-item-knowledge. The prime classification is by alpha sequence from which most large retailers have adopted a 5-tier hierarchical class of: *department, *aisle, *section, *shelf, *brand. These are in-store orientated classifications. There are a series of other potential typologies based on the data sets that make up the food-item-knowledge. These main classes are by: *ingredient(s), *portion-size, *calorie-level, *fat-level, *preparation-time, *cooking-option.

Data-Manipulation is the separation, interrogation and computation of this food-item-knowledge through multiple databases. It also includes information and message interchange.

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. This is also referred to as a consumer-centric approach.

In summary, Foodcounts compiles and taxonomizes the  broadest span of food-item-knowledge. Foodcounts develops software that offers consumers the highest level of data-manipulation, both in terms of knowledge analysis and interaction with food-item suppliers. Foodcounts, through total inter-operability, encompasses the widest possible markets. 

The interaction of these definitions are also shown in diagram form

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How does it operate

Foodcounts will operate by introducing a new concept in database construction. It will have the capacity and capability to incorporate all food-items sold within the UK. There will be 3 databases:-

FoodID™ (identity) contains the data that identifies a given food-item. Initially this will be : barcode, phonetic code (for voice interface) and food-item-taxonomy.

FoodACT™ (action data) contains the food-item-knowledge collated from individual food-item profiles. This content interacts with the FoodID™ database. It is this feature that provides the high levels of data-manipulation. 

FoodXTN(extension) is a secure database in which consumer, retailer and manufacturer profiles can be safely stored. Access is through our proprietary CoreID™ technology. This gives us the necessary security to communicate  and integrate with 3rd party databases.

Full scale inter-operability is achieved by a consumer-centric approach with particular emphasis on VoiceXML and user-interface technologies. 

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Why develop it?

We address 4 major problems:-

  • lack of  easy to understand, accessible food-item-knowledge

  • inertia of most consumers concerning food management 

  • complexity of  on-line food ordering

  • absence of protocols concerning data access and interchange

We achieve a number of key benefits:-                   

  • emergence of a national database for all UK food-items

  • vastly improved delivery system for food-item-knowledge

  • profiles of individual consumer needs satisfied by data-manipulation 

  • wider disability access through inter-operability

  • new coding of food-item-knowledge connects to intelligent kitchens 

  • database interaction with retailers allows more consumer choice 

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Who will use it?

The market