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TellSpec™ Scanner, the World’s First Consumer Food Scanner

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TellSpec Inc., developer of the world’s first consumer food scanner, today announces it has integrated a Texas Instruments DLP device into the TellSpec™ food scanner. The TellSpec scanner will identify calories, macronutrients, ingredients, allergens and chemicals in food and beverages, and inform consumers about the relationship between food composition, consumption and health. The first TellSpec food scanners are expected to be delivered to beta food testers and developers in Q2 2014.

“Thanks to a new era of open information, today’s consumers are no longer passive; they are empowered to be more informed about what they’re eating and the choices they’re making," said Isabel Hoffmann, CEO of TellSpec. “Food technology companies can now provide access to promising new threads of knowledge for consumers – and TellSpec is leading the movement when it comes to food ingredients and safety.”

TellSpec brings together spectroscopy and a unique mathematical algorithm in a revolutionary system that allows consumers to check what’s in their food as easily as they check their email. The updated model of the TellSpec food scanner will no longer use lasers and instead will implement TI’s DLP technology, which can support one million programmable micromirrors and a broadband lamp. Thanks to the collaboration with Texas Instruments, TellSpec’s biotechnological innovation and the expansion of TI's award-winning MEMS technology are helping transform consumer access to information.

Many foods contain chemicals and allergens that consumers want to avoid, but it can be difficult to know whether these chemicals and allergens are in your food or not. How can one tell if a food contains the nutrients one needs? What about things like sodium or trans fats that someone might be trying to avoid? Food labels can give consumers some information if they’re available, but they are not always intelligible and some ingredients may not even be reported. TellSpec tells buyers about allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients in food before on buys it, orders it, or eats it.

When one beams the light in the TellSpec scanner at a food product, some of the photons in the light are absorbed, which raises the energy states of the molecules in the food. Lower-energy photons are then emitted back. The spectrometer inside the TellSpec scanner sorts these photons by wavelength and counts them. The resulting numbers, called a spectrum, describe the chemical compounds in the food. This spectrum is uploaded to TellSpec’s analysis engine where it’s analyzed and correlated with other reference spectra. Information about allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients in the food is then downloaded and displayed on a smartphone.

"TellSpec is taking advantage of DLP technology’s capabilities in exciting new ways, by applying the DLP device to an advanced consumer food and health solution," said Mariquita Gordon, Manager of DLP Embedded Products at TI.
About TellSpec Inc.

TellSpec brings together spectroscopy and a unique mathematical algorithm in a revolutionary biotechnology system that can tell you what’s in any food. TellSpec has three components: a pocket-sized scanner to capture the spectrum of the food, a unique algorithm to analyze the data, and an app to report the findings on a smartphone or any computing device. TellSpec filed a U.S. patent application on August 5, 2013, for its method of analyzing and correlating spectra, identifying samples and their ingredients, and displaying related personalized information.

TellSpec can be preordered now on the website. The price is $320, which includes one full year of use. After the 1 year of free unlimited analysis, the future cost of a subscription is currently planned to be $7.99 per month or $69.99 per year.

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