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Nutrition aid Food database aims to improve diets

How much salt is contained in the average food shopping basket?

(Keystone)

The dietary information of more than 14,000 food products has been collated in a Swiss database to help consumers plan healthier meals. The data is designed as a resource to support a range of diet apps for smartphones.

The Federal Institute for Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) launched the database on Monday, saying it would be boosted with more products in time. Used in connection with an app, it will allow shoppers to scan food items for sugar and salt content, for example.

Scientists behind the open source database believe apps could be produced in future that recommend the healthiest options for consumers.

Getting the Swiss to eat healthier is a concern for the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, which last year found that people consume 9.1 grams of salt a day – nearly double the five grams recommended by the World Health Organization.

EPFL researchers believe their database can be used to remove the need for consumers to read the dietary information on every packet of food that they buy.

Running parallel with the database is the factfood.org website, hosted by Vaud’s cantonal hospital, that provides articles and information on nutrition.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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