It’s a public database on barcoded food products that are sold in Switzerland.
Why is it important?
It’s the first database on Swiss food products that’s truly open, free and, perhaps most importantly, programmatically accessible through an API. The API interface is critical because it will allow an ecosystem to develop around this food data set – and that’s one of the main goals of the openfood.ch project. This means that, over time, we will provide much more information on specific foods than what is normally found on product labels. For example, with DNA analyses getting cheaper every day, users may soon be able to upload the DNA sequence of food products.
What’s the benefit for the consumer?
The benefit to the consumer will grow with the ecosystem that emerges around this open data set. But to start with, we’ve built a simple app that lets users scan a product and visualize the amount of sugar that’s in the product. Most people don’t know what it means when a product has 40g of sugar per 100g, for example. But if they see that amount as stacked sugar cubes, it’s obvious to anyone that that’s a lot of sugar.
Is it free of charge?
Yes, you just need to download the app and then you can scan the bar code of the foods you buy.
What if the product is not in the database?
You can simply take a picture of the list of ingredients on the label and send it to openfood.ch. No need to sign up first.
Who is funding this project?
EPFL developed the Openfood project in partnership with the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation, a philanthropy whose goals include ensuring the general public receives objective scientific information on nutrition and health issues.