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Discover hidden salt contents with new smartphone app

Discover hidden salt contents with new smartphone app

FoodSwitch, a smartphone app that shows consumers what their food contains, has been launched in the UK this week.

The app allows users to scan the barcodes of food products before revealing the salt, fat and sugar contents of the item. The results will be presented in a traffic light system, with green showing a healthy amount, amber being fine to indulge in occasionally and red being a dangerously high level.

FoodSwitch has been launched by campaigners from the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), who want consumers to be increasingly aware of how much salt their food contains, in a bid to improve the country's health.

The app has experienced success elsewhere around the world and aims to change the eating habits of consumers by encouraging them to follow a healthier diet.

UK consumers will be able to scan more than 80,000 products to find out their nutritional information.

If a product flags up as being particularly unhealthy, the app will provide suggestions of a healthier alternative item. For example, those looking to purchase tinned fish in brine will be encourage to opt for tuna in springwater instead.

Katherine Jenner of the CASH campaign said: "FoodSwitch gives customers the perfect opportunity to get to grips with what the labels mean and to finally understand what is in their food," the Grocer reported.

She added that manufacturers have been hiding the true ingredients of their products for years, so the app will allow consumers to take greater control of their food choices.

Professor Susan Jobb of Oxford University, who helped design the current traffic light system used on food packaging in the UK, welcomed news of the app's launch. She said she hopes being more active about food choices will cut cases of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer as people begin to lead healthier lifestyles.

Health minister Jane Ellison was similarly enthusiastic about the app, saying that she believes technology can empower UK consumers to improve their nutrition.

 

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