Use the Fooducate app to scan the bar code of any item at the supermarket. Fooducate automatically grades foods and beverage on a scale from A to D. There are 10 distinct grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, and D.
Fooducate’s algorithm is based on information that is publicly available on a product’s package: the nutrition facts panel and the ingredient list. We do not receive any additional information from manufacturers.
The algorithm rewards minimally processed, nutrient dense foods with the highest grades. This means that real foods, with intrinsic nutrients will score better than processed foods that are poor in built-in nutrients and use fortification as a means to appear healthy.
Nutrients – Fooducate’s algorithms add points for nutrients to encourage such as fiber, calcium, and iron. The algorithms detract points for nutrients to limit such as saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
Ingredients – The ingredient list is very important as it tells the story behind the nutrients. Imagine a piece of cardboard that was sprayed with 11 vitamins and minerals, then peppered with “natural” flavors, coated with an artificial sweetener, and colored with Red #40 (a controversial artificial food dye). Under some rating systems, this product would actually score very well due to its low calorie count and multitude of nutrients.
This type of product does not fly at Fooducate. They look for real ingredients that have many more beneficial nutrients to offer than the 5 or 10 a manufacturer may add to a product.