Capturing nutritional value at the point of consumption using accessible and inexpensive technologies

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Title: Capturing nutritional value at the point of consumption using accessible and inexpensive technologies.

Mentors: Drs. Bialkowski and Gretebeck

Summary: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) seeks to optimize metabolic response in individuals or population subgroups through tailored dietary approaches to promote health and prevent and treat disease. Accurate assessment of nutritional intake among community-dwelling individuals at the point of intake is a major obstacle in precision nutrition evaluation. Without this fundamental information about nutritional lifestyle factors, a highly modifiable environmental condition, disparities across Race, Ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age will persist. Our team of cross-disciplinary researchers is combining expertise in hyperspectral imaging, image processing, mobile technology, analytics, nutrition, psychology and human motivation to develop a robust and accurate platform of nutrition evaluation at the point of consumption. This important translational step forward will empower researchers across disciplines with the information needed to facilitate meaningful change and more equitable access to health.

Student Research Activities: The REU fellows will perform the following major tasks in collaboration with the research team’s investigators and graduate students: • build novel cell phone platform facilitating reliable food image capture • evaluate technology’s ability to detect added sugar and fat to liquid food • perform supervised data mining analytics on image data • collect and analyze food frequency information from subjects