Sick of scanning ingredient lists on all your packaging? There’s an app for that!
A Dutch team have taken the guess-work out of scouring lists of ingredients, looking for foods that trigger allergies and intolerances. With its user-friendly interface, the Soosee app is just what we all need!
Whether its for you or your family, searching for dangerous ingredients due to allergies and intolerances is a daunting task that always leaves us second-guessing ourselves. Soosee is a second set of eyes, to help search for ingredients that pose a risk to you and your family.
So, how does it work?
Soosee uses the latest techniques in text recognition and augmented reality to recognize and highlight words directly on the packaging. Soosee’s built-in wordlists consist of more than 10,000 words across the most common allergies and intolerances. The app doesn’t just search for ingredients related to allergens, but can also be used to recognize animal-derived E-numbers, vegan products, palm oil and sugar synonyms. This makes Soosee a great app for people that want to be more aware of what they eat.
A handy tool for traveling
Anybody else have memories of being glued to the loo on their honeymoon? No? Must just be me, then.
Trying to figure out ingredients in a foreign language is an incredibly stressful (and time consuming!) ordeal. Soosee is handy like that, with a growing list of languages available for it to scan and decode for users.
So, if overseas travel has been put in the too-hard basket (or if you’ve spent entire holidays living off the Snack Packs you carted from home), Soosee may soon become the best friend you never knew you needed.
The inspiration behind the app
Living through a pandemic has meant many have found themselves locked up in their homes for months at a time. Jordi Bruin used this time to develop an app that would help him identify foods that wouldn’t trigger allergies for his girlfriend. Teamed up with Maartje Derks, Jordi created Soosee, which has also gained popularity with the vegan community.
“When I do groceries for my girlfriend who is allergic to oranges, I constantly had to read the list to make sure it was safe to eat. When Apple added new text recognition technologies to the iPhone, I wanted to find a solution. [So] when I went into home quarantine due to Corona I decided to use my time wisely and build the app so it could work for any allergy or intolerance. Together with more than 2,500 testers, and over 40 translators from all over the world, the app is now available in more than 15 languages!” – Jordi Bruin
What you need to know
While you’ll still need to approach foods with caution, as Soosee acts as a second set of eyes to look over ingredients, the app has so much to offer.
In a nutshell, heres what it does:
- Quickly scan the ingredient list of a product for words related to food groups
- Can search for words in more than 15 languages, for example while travelling.
- Built-in word lists for common allergens and intolerances (gluten, lactose, tree nuts, fish, etc.)
- Special lists for vegans and vegetarians that also include animal derived e-numbers.
- Word lists focused on the environmental impact (palm oil) and other health related issues (sugar, alcohol)
- Users can make their own groups to scan for their own specific words
Soosee can also be helpful if:
- You’re not yet sure which ingredients you have to avoid
- You’ve just found that you’re allergic to a certain food group
- You have to go grocery shopping for friends with an intolerance to lactose or gluten
- You’ve recently started eating vegetarian or vegan
- The letters on the packaging are too small or if you left your glasses at home
- If you don’t know a lot about E-numbers and you want to know if you can have them or not
Soosee is available on the App Store and is coming to Google Play soon.