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News Picks : New device measures the number of calories in food

By: Physics Today
08 July 2014

Technology Review: Researchers at GE are working on a device to determine the caloric content of a serving of food. First, they use low-energy microwaves to detect its fat and water content. Then they subtract the weight of the fat and water from the total weight of the food. From the remaining weight, the researchers can calculate the calories in the food's other constituents, such as sugar, fiber, and protein. So far, the prototype works only on homogeneous liquid or blended foods, but the researchers are working on being able to analyze a plate of different foods—for example, a sandwich and chips. The goal is to integrate the device into a kitchen appliance, such as a microwave, which could both heat the food and determine its calorie count.


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