GE developing calorie counting microwave

A microwave being developed by researchers at General Electric could soon be able to you how healthy your meal is.

The device measures how many calories are in your food by utilising three pieces of information: fat content, water content and weight.

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It then analyses the food by passing low-energy microwaves through it, but the prototype only currently works with blended foods, as the food needs to be uniform throughout to receive an accurate measurement.

The aim is to develop this technology so it can be used with solid foods and then incorporated into existing appliances like microwaves. In order to generate a reading for solid foods, the device could use microwave antennas that form a more uniform distribution of microwaves than the current equipment or by progressively scanning the food. In either case, the complete measurement would only take a few seconds.

Calorie counting products are often criticised for their inaccuracy, but GE Research senior scientist, Matt Webster has said that this won't be an issue with the GE device.

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"We're looking at waves that pass all the way through the food. So you're getting a complete measurement of the entire food," Webster told MIT Technology Review.

Webster started developing the device as a gift to his wife, who was unimpressed by the state of health gadgets available to her. "I am working on my wife's dream present," he said.

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