The Fat Breathalyzer

Latest gadgets: The Fat Breathalyzer! Tooth sensor detects smoking & overeating. Crunchy or Smooth? Viewers weigh in on favorite food textures. Got GMO questions? New website has all the answers.

August 29, 2013 Video not working?


Want to know if you’re burning fat? Well it could be as easy as breathing…. Into a breathalyzer that is… Researchers in Japan have developed a prototype for a portable fat breathalyzer. Looks like there’s a gadget for everything!
By breathing into the device, it can detect the levels of acetone on one’s breath. Acetone is primarily produced in the blood when fat is broken down, but it is also expelled through alveoli in the lungs and is therefore present in exhaled breath. So, breathe into a breathalyzer and there you have a good indicator of whether or not the body has begun to break down fat. After detecting the exhaled breath, the device calculates the acetone concentration levels and transmits the results, either via cable or Bluetooth, to a smartphone within 10 seconds. Simple!
The device was tested using three groups of volunteers. The first group had no calorie restrictions or exercise requirements, the second was given light exercise but no calorie restrictions and the third group; light exercise plus calories restrictions. The results? Breath acetone concentrations remained constant for the first two groups as they were not able to lose significant amounts of fat, while the volunteers in the third group showed a significant increase in their breath acetone concentrations and were able to lose “significant amounts of fat.” So no word yet on whether this prototype will be made into something available for consumers worldwide, but it could be a very useful tool if it does!


Sticking with gadget news… check this out, scientists at the National Taiwan University have come up with a tooth sensor to analyze “oral activities”.  What’s this you ask?  Well take a look… It’s a small…very small…circuit board that can fit into dentures, crowns, cavities, or braces and by keeping track of jaw motion, figure out how much time you spend speaking, chewing, drinking, coughing, and smoking.  Early tests have found the sensor got it right 94% of the time, BUT…so far in just eight people! And the other downside? Currently there’s no way to include a tiny battery, so the prototype relies on an external wire to connect to a power source. Also, I wonder how safe it would be?  So stayed tuned, there’s clearly a lot more work to be done, in the meantime if a Doctor wants to know if you’ve been smoking or overeating, they’re going to have to rely on your honesty!


Do you go for crunchy or smooth? A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explained that food companies are paying closer attention to consumer’s texture preferences and food developers are putting specific textures at the top of the list of food attributes they want to achieve.  So of course we checked in with our Facebook friends to ask what they thought.  Is texture just as important as taste? What's your favorite food texture?

Andrew Goldstein says “ Crunch….which has also received the rank of Captain…unlike Smooth”

For Noah Fleischman “Depends on what the crunch is made of. Crackers, croutons, even nuts, great. But what is the deal with caraway seeds…?!?”

Nicky Mesiah likes both: “Smooth as in crème brulee, mascarpone cheese, fresh mozzarella….but is it’s a cookie, then I want it like my BFECookies, which are healthy & ‘crunchy’…” 

And Gary Smith makes it simple “I want food that should be crunchy to be very crunchy and smooth intended foods to be very creamy.”


Finally…got questions about GMO’s?  GMO Answers! A New Biotech industry website that allows people to ask any questions they have on GMO’s and get them answered…quickly. The goal is to answer questions within 24 hours, but depending on volume that could vary.  So, why the website? Cathy Enright, Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information spoke with FoodNavigator-USA and said “…The vast majority of people don’t know what GMO’s are…” She’s goes on to say “We’re bringing the body of evidence online in an easy to understand way, and people can look for themselves.” And finally she explains, “We’re not trying to convince or cajole anyone, we want to talk with them and we’re being very transparent about who is supporting this.”

 So, questions? Concerns? You know where to go!

That’s all for this week’s edition of Food News Today. Don’t forget to check out our website at SupermarketGuru dot com or send us a message on Facebook and twitter! Food News Today is sponsored by Con Agra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting and unbiased food news. Thanks for tuning in and see you next week!



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