Calorie-Counting Device Without Data Entry
State-of-the art biometric watches are good at counting the amount of calories burned during an exercise session, while also keeping track of heart rate and dehydration levels. But, such devices don’t have the wherewithal to count food calories that’s on a plate unless you input the fat, carbohydrates, and protein components into a calorimeter device. A General Electric (GE) scientist and his team are looking to develop a calorie-counting device that will generate the amount of food energy on a plate at the press of a button.
The team first sifted through the nutritional information of some 6,500 foods amassed by the US Department of Agriculture and engineered an equation that approximates calories in food using three parameters: weight of food, fat and water content. The formula estimates the values for sugar, carbohydrates, protein and other factors, but the accuracy of the overall calorie count isn’t compromised.
The definition of a calorie is the energy required to raise 1 gram of water by one degree Celsius. The GE team is currently constructing a calorie-counting device that gauges energy in foods by inundating it with microwaves that look for fat and water signatures in the waves that pass through the contents on a plate. Advanced sensors and electrical equipment are being assembled into the prototype and being tested on simple mixtures of oil, water and sugar.
The scientists are hoping to one day adapt their calorie-counting device into a wristband and incorporate it into an app for smartphones and tablets, as well as a push-button apparatus for the kitchen counter.