Reading food labels can be confusing and tricky. As people are becoming more and more health conscious some food manufacturers use misleading tricks to convince people to buy highly processed and unhealthy products. Through our iAM you can Instantly check if the food products you purchase on Amazon match your dietary needs. iAM instantly flags the food products you are about to purchase on Amazon that don't match your dietary needs . Additionally, iAM also highlights potentially harmful food additives so that you can make informed decisions about your food choices.
What it does
iAM is a google chrome extension that empowers users to understand ingredients of the food they consume, learn how to choose the right food products thus helping them choose a healthier lifestyle. We try to understand the user’s dietary restrictions and preferences by presenting them with a questionnaire when they install our extension. Our current scopes includes the following: 1) We give the user the choice to select any particular diet her would like to follow. The various diets supported by iAM are as follows: Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Lactose free, Paleo, Pescatarian, Vegan and Vegetarian
2) We give the user a choice to enter information about the various types of allergies they might have some examples include - Celery, eggs, fish, grains, lupin, milk, mustard, peanut, pollen, seeds, sesame, shellfish, soy, tree nut and wheat(This is not a comprehensive list, the user can customize and add more if the product they are allergic to is not a part of the list)
3)We give the user the choice to select the ingredients they are trying to eliminate from their diet. Some examples include added sugar, salt, garlic & artificial sweeteners
How we built it
We created a google chrome extension using HTML/CSS/JS. Our proposed (not yet implemented) approach focuses on scanning through Amazon product listings to extract ingredients. Comparing these ingredients to a set of user-defined dietary requirements and guidelines, we provide warnings for when certain foods could cause allergic reactions or are not within a selected diet. We also used Adobe XD to create a mockup of the website and what the sign up process would be like. When making the website, we kept in mind accessibility.
Challenges we ran into
Our main challenge was getting access to the correct data. We observed that the data describing the product was given in an inconsistent format. For instance, all the products did not have the ingredients specified in the product description on Amazon. This made it difficult to extrapolate the exact contents of the product the person was shopping for.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were successfully able to scan the ingredients of an Amazon product and warn the user of its harmful ingredients based on their dietary profile.
What we learned
1) Domain knowledge - We learnt a lot about how to read food labels, nutrition and the various harmful components food manufactures add to packaged food. This helped us understand how we can purchase food products more wisely and lead a healthier lifestyle 2) Technologies - We learnt how to build build a Google chrome extension.
What's next for iAm
Finalize ingredient identification algorithm and connection to internal databases, and fully implement our proposed approach. Extend it for the following domains: haircare, skincare and healthcare, where a user is given warning messages if he tries to purchase products that contains unsafe chemicals or items that they are allergic to.
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