There are a few gluten free barcode scanners out there with the word gluten in their name. But are they better than the other apps that don’t specifically target it? InFood is an app that checks your food via barcodes for many different ingredients.
InFood correctly whether a food contained gluten 71% of the time. Of all scanned items, 78.95% of the items were in their database. The most concerning item of note is that there were a few instances of noting an item was gluten free when it contained gluten (wheat) or was not considered gluten free by the manufacturers even if there were no gluten ingredients in the product.
We conducted a study where we took 57 standard grocery items and scanned them with 6 scanning apps to find out if they were accurate and see which was the best one. Check out this article to find the results when we compared all of these apps together.
How Well Does InFood Work For Gluten Free?
Scanning a food item to see if it has gluten should be a double check to see if you read the ingredients right. No tech will ever be able to tell you 100% of the time if it is gluten free. The best thing to learn is what gluten ingredients are and how to look items up to see if they are gluten free.
Accuracy: InFood was able to tell if a food contained gluten 71% of the time compared to the manufacturer’s website and information. A few instances were noted as Gluten Free on the InFood app, but the manufacturer states it is not Gluten Free.
Database: The app description on the Play Store does not say how big their database is. In our own testing, we found that InFood could find the item 78.95% of the time. They were missing several items that should have been in there even when considering that they may not have items that are obviously not gluten free.
User Experience: The user experience on this app was not great. There is very little functionality. I only compared the free version as I was comparing a few different apps. The paid version does not appear to have the option of saving what you scanned. Of all the apps I worked with for this project, this is the only way not to save your scanned items.
How Accurate is InFood For Gluten Detection?
InFood accurately told whether an item was gluten free 71% of the time. This is even considering that I gave them credit for being correct when they listed Cheerios as may contain gluten when the manufacturer says it is gluten free. There are some differences of opinion on this in the gluten free world.
What seems most problematic to me is that of the 13 instances where InFood did not agree with the manufacturer, 4 of them were less cautious. 2 of them were noting that an item was gluten free when it either contained wheat or was shown to not be safe for those avoiding gluten.
Nature Valley Granola Bar is marked as Gluten Free in their database when it is not gluten free. It does not contain purity control oats and cannot be considered safe.
Bugles contain wheat flour, and InFood marked it as Gluten Free. This is obviously problematic.
Lay’s BBQ Chips and Johnny’s Seasoning Salt are marked as Gluten Free when the manufacturer says they may contain gluten.
In the rest of the instances where they disagreed, InFood was more cautious than the manufacturer. They noted may contain or contains gluten when the manufacturer said it was gluten free. This is less problematic for me as I’d prefer to err on the side of caution when discussing whether something has gluten.
Does InFood Have A Big Database?
We scanned 57 items with all 6 apps. InFood was able to pull information up on 78.95% of the items scanned. Of the 57 scanned items, InFood found information on 45 of them.
InFood is a newer app than some at 2 years old compared to 8 years old for others.
The items InFood was unable to pull up were Wheat Thins, Onions (in the produce section), Green Giant Steam Crisp Mexicorn Mixed Vegetables, Nancy’s Nonfat Yogurt, York Peppermint Patties, Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Crackers, Kix, Franz Keto White Bread, Cheddar Folios Cheese Wraps, Bar M Applewood Smoked Sausage With bacon, Jennie-O Ground Turkey, and Chobani Strawberry Yogurt.
As you can see, these are mostly top-rated items and brands. I’ll give a pass to wheat Thins, Onions, and Goldfish Crackers because people who are gluten free are unlikely to be scanning those to see if they are gluten free. The rest of them can be questionable items.
I am concerned about how many questionable items are not scanning instead of gluten free or obviously gluten. There were about equal numbers of gluten, gluten free, and questionable items on the list of items scanned.
What Is The InFood User Experience?
The user experience of the app for InFood doesn’t have much to say.
There was no possibility of saving the scans, so I ended up screenshotting them to put them in the spreadsheet I used to compare all the apps.
In the basic filters, you can choose what you want to avoid in your food, and then when it scans, the app shows you if they are in there.
There is a library, but it is a list of the filters they give you. When you pay for the premium subscription, you can put more items into the filters.
What Are The Major Problems With InFood?
The biggest problem is the accuracy. They only agreed with the manufacturer three-quarters of the time. That is a huge gap that could leave someone who trusted the app in a lot of pain. You should obviously not trust an app to make food decisions for you, but at this rate, I am not sure I trust any of what comes back.
The database is still lacking, which will hopefully get better with time. But for now, this is problematic.
The inability to save what I have already scanned was a big issue for me. Because I was getting data, this may have been exaggerated in my experience. However, being able to go back on all of the other apps to see what was scanned and if it was gluten free was a big point in their favor.
Should I Use InFood?
At this point, I can’t recommend using InFood.
If they get a better database with a higher average of correct, I would be happy to change my mind. For right now, as the numbers stand, the risks are too high. While they are a newer app, they have just passed 2 years and should have been able to work out some of the kinks in the system by now.
If you would like to see, all the data from the 6 apps compared, hop on to this article to see how they all stack up against each other. If you decided that InFood isn’t right for you, you might find one that is!