FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the main menu work?

Select your preferences from our main menu by tapping on each section.

How does my profile work?

Choose all your settings from my profile and then click done after each selection. Please remember to click the submit button when you have finished. To edit, simply tap the section, edit, click done and the click submit to finish.

How does my goals work?

Choose all your settings from my goals and then click done. Click the submit button at the bottom when you have finished all your goals. To edit, simply tap the section, edit, and click done. Click the submit button at the bottom when you have finished all your goals.

 

How does my allergies/avoids work?

Select which allergens & ingredients you want to avoid in foods from my allergies/avoids. Click on the avoid list tab, check your allergies and click the submit button. To remove, uncheck and click the submit button.

Click on the specific ingredients tab, type in your ingredient you want to avoid, and then select and click the submit button. Click the see your specific allergies button to see the ingredients you chose to avoid. To remove, uncheck and click the submit button.

How does my ailments work?

Select what is ailing you from my ailments.  Tap the to add the ailment to your profile and click the submit button. To remove, tap – added , and click the submit button.

How do I scan a product?

Start scanning food products by selecting the scan my products section.  The scanner will automatically appear and you simply place your camera over the bar code on the food product to scan.  You can also type in the actual UPC code in the top search field of the scanner. You can also scan by tapping the scan icon in the upper-right corner.

scanproducts

How does the browse my products work? How do I search for specific food products?

Search for food products in browse my products. Select your category by scrolling down and search for products. You can also type in a specific product in the search bar in the top right corner.

While searching, you can see what foods you should avoid due to your allegens/ingredients by the large red avoid symbol. You can also see what foods you should avoid due to your ailments selections by the red ailment icon, and the foods you should have that are good for your ailments selections by the green ailment icon. You can also add that food to the my fooddiary immediately, by tapping the add product button.

Once you have selected your product you can see the product’s grade, ingredients, nutrition facts and things to know. You can also add that product to the my fooddiary by tapping the add to myfooddairy button. You can also add that product to the myfavorites by tapping the add to my favorites button.

How does the my food diary work?

Add all your meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to the my fooddairy and it will automatically log all your calories each day. Click the +add food button to add foods. You can then add food to your food diary, make favorites, add to history, and to create meals, click the +save this meal. Click the submit button to save.

To delete food products in your food diary swipe to the right, to edit items swipe to the left.

What do the food grades mean?

The unique, patent-pending FoodFacts Health Score is a guideline to help our members navigate the often confusing world of ingredient lists and nutrition labels.  Our formula looks at aspects of the nutrition label and assigns a grade based on our nutrition department’s recommendations for that food group.  The item earns bonuses for vitamins and minerals, and loses points for controversial ingredients. We stay on top of the research about controversial ingredients and hidden food risks to provide consumers with all of the information they need to make informed decisions about their nutrition.  As always, we do not provide medical advice and any questions about your personal nutrition or a product’s suitability for your needs should be discussed with a doctor or medical professional.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.32.54 PM

What does the red avoid symbol mean?

The red avoid symbol notifies you of food products you should avoid based on the allergen and specific ingredients that you have selected to avoid in the my allergies/avoids section.

avoid symbol

What does the green ailment symbol mean?

The green ailment symbol notifies you of a food product that is good for the ailment (s) you have selected.

good aliments

What does the red ailment symbol mean?

The red ailment symbol notifies you of a food product that is not good for the ailment (s) you have selected.

Badaliments

How does my favorites work?

See all the food products you chose for my favorites in this section. To delete, swipe to the right.

You can add all your favorites from the actual food product detail page when you are searching for products. Simply tab the add to my favorites button to add and tab again to remove.

How does my history work?

See all the food products you added to your food diary in my history.

How does my meals work?

See all the food products and meals you created for my meals in this section. To delete, swipe to the right.

You can create all your meals under the my food dairy section.

How does my outcome work?

See all the outcomes from the foods you logged in the my outcome section, by selecting each tab: grade, ingredients and goals. You can choose to see each outcome daily, weekly and monthly as well by tapping each button. You can also select an exact date by tapping the date in between the arrows.

How do I set reminders for myself?

Simply tap the my reminders in the main menu and choose what meals you would like reminders for and the time.

How do I contact support for an issue I’m having?

If you are having any issues at any time with our app or site, please email us: [email protected]  We will get back to you ASAP.

What is Artificial Food Coloring? Why is it controversial?

An artificial food dye, or “color additive” is defined by the FDA as “any dye, pigment or substance which when added or applied to a food, drug or cosmetic, or to the human body, is capable (alone or through reactions with other substances) of imparting color.”[1]  They are often made from petroleum and used to enhance existing color, add new color to colorless foods or correct any loss of color that occurs during storage, processing or use of a product.

From the FDA:

Certified colors are synthetically produced (or human made) and used widely because they impart an intense, uniform color, are less expensive, and blend more easily to create a variety of hues. There are nine certified color additives approved for use in the United States (e.g., FD&C Yellow No. 6. See [below] for a complete list). Certified food colors generally do not add undesirable flavors to foods.[1]

The seven standard artificial food dyes used in the United States, also known as “Certified Colors” are:

FD&C Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue, E133),
FD&C Blue #2 (Indigotine, E132),
FD&C Green #3 (Fast Green FCF, E143),
FD&C Red #3 (Erythrosine, E127),
FD&C Red #40
 (Allura Red AC, E129),
FD&C Yellow #5
 (Tartrazine, E102), and
FD&C Yellow #6
 (Sunset Yellow FCF, E110).

There are two other artificial colorings used in the United States, but with limits: FD&C Orange B is only permitted for use in hot dog and sausage casings.  FD&C Red Citrus #2 is only permitted for coloring the skin of oranges.  It is worth noting that the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) has listed FD&C Red Citrus #2 as a Group 2B Carcinogenor possibly carcinogenic to humans.

At Foodfacts.com, we have two major points of concern when it comes to artificial dyes.

The first is the disputed safety of these dyes, as studies have linked them to causing cancer in lab animals, hyperactivity in children with ADHD and more.  In 1984, the FDA’s Acting Commissioner, Mark Novitch, said that Red #3 was “of greatest public health concern…The agency should not knowingly allow continued exposure [to a] color additive that has clearly been shown to induce cancer while questions of mechanism are explored.”  Unfortunately, the FDA only banned the use of Red #3 in cosmetics and certain drugs, as well as the “lake” version of this dye. [2]  CSPI, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has summarized the studies available for Food Dyes in this chart: Click here.  There is still significant need for more independent study and analysis.

Our second concern is the way food coloring affects the psychological aspect of eating.  Bright food coloring is often used in processed or “junk” foods, which are also full of sugar, fat and other controversial ingredients.  Because things like candy and snacks are usually colored in fun and bright ways, children are drawn to them rather than more nutritious food.  This trains kids to think that “bright” is delicious, forming a habit that points them towards snack food rather than a healthier option.

 

What makes an ingredient controversial?

Food Facts verifies Ingredients before we label them as Controversial. All of our controversial ingredients are highlighted in orange to help you easily identify them. You can also click on them for more information.

Information comes from FDA (Food and Drug Administration), CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), other nations (Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany) institutions of higher learning, medical institutions and other independent, non-biased groups.

We will not state that you can’t eat any foods or ingredients, since we have a responsibility to impartially inform you what others are claiming.

Food Facts forms an expert and independent consensus. For example – while the FDA classifies food dyes as “GRAS,” or “Generally Recognized as Safe,” the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of the United Kingdom believes there is a possible link to hyperactivity in children.  We therefore rate food dyes as Controversial to inform our members that the scientific and medical community does not have a consensus on the safety of this ingredient.

This product is labeled as “Gluten Free,” but foodfacts.com shows a Gluten allergen. Why?

The FDA standard for labeling a product as “gluten-free” are that it contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.  This number is safe to consume for many, but not all persons sensitive to gluten.  Therefore, unless the company has been evaluated by an organization with higher standards or the manufacturer asserts that it is 100% gluten free, we prefer to alert our more sensitive customers that they may have a reaction to this product.

Why doesn’t foodfacts.com indicate how much Potassium is in this product?

Unfortunately, the FDA does not require potassium to be disclosed on nutrition labels, and we cannot estimate or guess what may be in a product without compromising our dedication to accurate information.  Therefore, if the manufacturer does not disclose the Potassium levels, we leave the potassium blank.

This product is labeled as “MSG Free,” but foodfacts.com shows an MSG warning. Why?

We regard the possible inclusion of free glutamic acids as a potential MSG ingredient, as the free glutamic acids are what may cause adverse reactions in those sensitive to MSG.  While the FDA rules regarding labeling and glutamic acid are lax, other governments, such as Canada, recognize the potential issues for certain individuals and prohibits the use of “MSG Free” on any product unless it can be proven that there are no detectable glutamates in the product; this includes natural sources of free glutamates such as tomatoes and grapes (Source).

These can all cause reactions in those sensitive to glutamates, which is why we label it with an MSG icon – so that those sensitive to glutamates will have all relevant information available to them.  We consider information from all major health sources, such as research institutes and governmental agencies (both US and foreign), when determining what may or may not be controversial.

This product is labeled as “Trans-Fat Free,” but foodfacts.com shows a Trans-Fat warning. Why?

Recently manufacturers were required to put trans fat ratings on their food labels; however, the labeling requirements state that amounts of trans fat less than 0.5 grams per serving can be placed on the food label as 0 grams trans fat.  A manufacturer can avoid listing trans fats by keeping the serving size on the nutrition label small.  Trans fats are found in hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils.

Is foodfacts.com this product’s manufacturer?

We aren’t the manufacturer; in fact, we don’t produce any of the items on our site.  The manufacturer is listed on the Product Page, along with the brand name.

Where does foodfacts.com get its information?

We collect our information either from the product’s nutrition label and ingredient lists, or from the manufacturer directly.  While accurate and up-to-date listings are our highest priority, manufacturers do change their formulations from time to time, so there are occasions when our listings may be out of date.  We recommend always reviewing a product label for allergens or other ingredients that trigger sensitivities.  As always, if you find a score that may be incorrect or a product not yet added to our database, please feel free to contact us.

What is the orange question mark icon?

That icon will now accompany any product on our site that does not have a full ingredients list due to the manufacturer’s decision not to disclose it.  This happens when a manufacturer chooses not to disclose the ingredients in their product.  Without being able to judge ingredient quality, we cannot offer an accurate score, but we want our members to know that it was researched.  In fact, the lack of disclosure and transparency is controversial to us, which is why we also say “caution.”

As always, our commitment is to providing you, our members, with accurate and important nutrition information about the food products you purchase for yourself and you family.  That’s why we’re choosing to alert you to the fact that a manufacturer is not disclosing their ingredients.

What is the foodfacts.com Health Score? How do you reach this score?

The foodfacts.com Health Score is calculated using a unique, patent-pending algorithm that combines traditional measures of nutrition facts along with quality of ingredients, while excluding any personal bias or prejudice.  No manufacturers have an input on our score, the product’s taste is not a consideration, and we don’t score comparatively to other products.  The score is not meant to be a final judgment on a product, but a guideline to help consumers navigate the often confusing world of ingredient lists and nutritional labels.

Why doesn’t foodfacts.com indicate whether a product is GMO or not?

Unfortunately, the FDA does not require manufacturers to disclose whether their products or ingredients include Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).  Therefore, it is not possible for us to indicate whether a product is or is not GMO, because there are no consistent guidelines or standards.  The best way to ensure that a product is or isn’t GMO is by contacting the manufacturer directly.  Hopefully, more transparent GMO labeling will be required in the future so that consumers can make their own informed decisions about their food.  At that time, you can be sure that FoodFacts.com will indicate the GMO status of a product, but for now, that information simply isn’t available if the manufacturer does not want to provide it.

all my foodfacts app
How does the main menu work?

Select your preferences from our main menu by tapping on each section.

How does my profile work?

Choose all your settings from my profile and then click done after each selection. Please remember to click the submit button when you have finished. To edit, simply tap the section, edit, click done and the click submit to finish.

How does my goals work?

Choose all your settings from my goals and then click done. Click the submit button at the bottom when you have finished all your goals. To edit, simply tap the section, edit, and click done. Click the submit button at the bottom when you have finished all your goals.

 

How does my allergies/avoids work?

Select which allergens & ingredients you want to avoid in foods from my allergies/avoids. Click on the avoid list tab, check your allergies and click the submit button. To remove, uncheck and click the submit button.

Click on the specific ingredients tab, type in your ingredient you want to avoid, and then select and click the submit button. Click the see your specific allergies button to see the ingredients you chose to avoid. To remove, uncheck and click the submit button.

How does my ailments work?

Select what is ailing you from my ailments.  Tap the to add the ailment to your profile and click the submit button. To remove, tap – added , and click the submit button.

How do I scan a product?

Start scanning food products by selecting the scan my products section.  The scanner will automatically appear and you simply place your camera over the bar code on the food product to scan.  You can also type in the actual UPC code in the top search field of the scanner. You can also scan by tapping the scan icon in the upper-right corner.

scanproducts

How does the browse my products work? How do I search for specific food products?

Search for food products in browse my products. Select your category by scrolling down and search for products. You can also type in a specific product in the search bar in the top right corner.

While searching, you can see what foods you should avoid due to your allegens/ingredients by the large red avoid symbol. You can also see what foods you should avoid due to your ailments selections by the red ailment icon, and the foods you should have that are good for your ailments selections by the green ailment icon. You can also add that food to the my fooddiary immediately, by tapping the add product button.

Once you have selected your product you can see the product’s grade, ingredients, nutrition facts and things to know. You can also add that product to the my fooddiary by tapping the add to myfooddairy button. You can also add that product to the myfavorites by tapping the add to my favorites button.

How does the my food diary work?

Add all your meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to the my fooddairy and it will automatically log all your calories each day. Click the +add food button to add foods. You can then add food to your food diary, make favorites, add to history, and to create meals, click the +save this meal. Click the submit button to save.

To delete food products in your food diary swipe to the right, to edit items swipe to the left.

What do the food grades mean?

The unique, patent-pending FoodFacts Health Score is a guideline to help our members navigate the often confusing world of ingredient lists and nutrition labels.  Our formula looks at aspects of the nutrition label and assigns a grade based on our nutrition department’s recommendations for that food group.  The item earns bonuses for vitamins and minerals, and loses points for controversial ingredients. We stay on top of the research about controversial ingredients and hidden food risks to provide consumers with all of the information they need to make informed decisions about their nutrition.  As always, we do not provide medical advice and any questions about your personal nutrition or a product’s suitability for your needs should be discussed with a doctor or medical professional.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.32.54 PM

What does the red avoid symbol mean?

The red avoid symbol notifies you of food products you should avoid based on the allergen and specific ingredients that you have selected to avoid in the my allergies/avoids section.

avoid symbol

What does the green ailment symbol mean?

The green ailment symbol notifies you of a food product that is good for the ailment (s) you have selected.

good aliments

What does the red ailment symbol mean?

The red ailment symbol notifies you of a food product that is not good for the ailment (s) you have selected.

Badaliments

How does my favorites work?

See all the food products you chose for my favorites in this section. To delete, swipe to the right.

You can add all your favorites from the actual food product detail page when you are searching for products. Simply tab the add to my favorites button to add and tab again to remove.

How does my history work?

See all the food products you added to your food diary in my history.

How does my meals work?

See all the food products and meals you created for my meals in this section. To delete, swipe to the right.

You can create all your meals under the my food dairy section.

How does my outcome work?

See all the outcomes from the foods you logged in the my outcome section, by selecting each tab: grade, ingredients and goals. You can choose to see each outcome daily, weekly and monthly as well by tapping each button. You can also select an exact date by tapping the date in between the arrows.

How do I set reminders for myself?

Simply tap the my reminders in the main menu and choose what meals you would like reminders for and the time.

How do I contact support for an issue I’m having?

If you are having any issues at any time with our app or site, please email us: [email protected]  We will get back to you ASAP.