CarrotLines provides users with a detailed analysis of food products by scanning an item’s bar code. It can then tell you if it’s low in fat, if it contains trans-fats, if it has nuts, etc. It can also inform you whether the ingredients are oganic, kosher, vegan, etc., and even a product’s country of origin.
The mobile app founder and CEO, Wahiba Chair, is a 27-year-old Vancouverite who was born in Algeria. She receieved a small sum to fund the app thanks to her participation in Stars of Science, a show based in Doha, Qatar, which is a invention and development competition for young innovators of Arab origin. The CarrotLines team is rounded out with Justin MacDonald, the food platform manager, and Angela Feiner, the marketing and PR expert.
One of the main challenges has been the large variety of food products, thus the massive amount of information that needs to be harvested, Chair said of the app recently. The app currently contains data on more than 10,000 Canadian food products, with more being added as the information becomes available. In the future, she noted the app will provide additional information such as whether a food has been irradiated or contains genetically modified organisms. But she pointed out that the aim is not to be a food watchdog; rather it is to provide useful information to consumers.
“We’re not trying to police the industry. We’re trying to provide a solution . . . and highlight what people care about,” she said.
CarrotLines is now availabale for download at CarrotLines.com or through the Canadian iPhone App Store for $2.99. New information will continue to be added at no additional cost.