What are the most important principles behind Edo?

Can food be harmful?

By definition, each food must be safe, nutritious in order to meet dietary needs and accessible. Nowadays we tend to believe that food products, especially those produced on an industrial scale, are harmful to our health. And substances such as hydrogenated fats, additives, acrylamide can really create us a few problems. However we have to consider that the concepts of “being healthy” or “being harmful” are relative: much depends on quantity. Certainly it is known that a diet too heavy in fatty or sugary foods can lead to health problems, but even a very high introduction in vitamins could lead to hypervitaminosis. “It is the dose that makes the poison” Paracelsus said: if a food can be harmful, for the most part depends on us!

Are all nutrients equal?

Yes and no. Yes because our body needs each of them in order to function to its fullest possibilities. So even saturated fats, cholesterol and sugars, often suggested as negative, have their daily needs that must be fulfilled. No, because each nutrient is different from others because of its characteristics, because of the functions they perform in the body and because of the calories it provides. The daily intake of each nutrient is, therefore, different and specific: for example the daily intake of carbohydrates is larger than that of the saturated fats. All these aspects are considered for the Edo index formulation.

What is Edo’s target audience?

Edo is an app designed for everyone. Every day we have to face a large amount of information regarding food. Information that is not always very clear, sometimes even misleading or deceptive. The idea of Edo is just to simplify and summarize this information and make it available to everyone: in this way you can choose more consciously what reaches your tables.

Why should I use Edo?

More and more often we hear about healthy and balanced diet. The principles of proper nutrition are now known to everyone, but applying them remains a problem. Edo is a daily help to guide our choices and eating habits in the right direction. The first step towards a healthy lifestyle.

What is Edo’s goal?

The Edo project was born in order to promote a healthy diet. Edo is an ecosystem in which the consumer is helped into daily choices regarding his or her nutrition. We want to bring clarity in the chaos of information that surround us and which can often be misleading. We know how difficult it is to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The little time we have, the publicity that pushes us towards some products, the convenience of ready-made products, all these things take us away from the right direction.

What is the number that I can see linked to each product?

It’s an indicator, an easy and synthetic compatibility index. This rating allows you to understand how a certain food suits to your physiological condition, that changes from person to person and that is influenced by many factors (first of all gender and age). Ratings are placed in a range from 0 to 10: an Edo index equals to zero means that the product is not compatible to your condition and that you should reduce its consume as much as you can. Instead, the more the Edo index is near to 10, the more the compatibility increases. Our index synthesizes all information that we can find on food labels and makes them clearer. In this way you can choose what to buy with more attention and consciousness.

How do we calculate Edo index?

The Edo index is the result of the combined evaluation of nutrition facts and ingredients which characterize a product. Nutritional data are evaluated in relation to our daily needs, while as regards ingredients we consider the characteristics of their composition and the most recent studies about the effects on the human body and health. Same applies for additives. In the calculation of the rating we take into account also the portion of that particular food. Usually we receive information about a product related to 100 grams, but considering the portion we get closer to what we can realistically eat. Portions can be declared on the label, otherwise we choose a standard one in accordance with the directions of SINU (Italian Society of Human Nutrition).

Are results custom?

In the free version of the app ratings have a first level of customization: we consider user’s age and gender. After login you are required to enter these two information, critical to Edo to calculate the rating of each product. Gender and age are two important parameters influencing the needs of each of us. Based on them we can differentiate the calories and nutrient needs and adapt the ratings to the type of user that uses the application. With our premium contents, instead, user can enter many other information: physical data (height, weight, body measures), physical activity, intolerances (gluten or lactose), lifestyles (vegetarian or vegan), pregnancy condition. The most expert users can also specify different intakes for main nutrients and exclude ingredients or additives from their diet.

Rating products is equivalent to formulate a diet?

No. What Edo aims to do is provide consumers a tool that includes all the information presented in food labels, summarizing and making them more understandable to people that haven’t the proper scientific background. Helping choose foods consciously can undoubtedly encourage to develop healthy eating habits and, in this sense, Edo represent a valid support even in the fields of human nutrition.

Are evaluations different between men and women?

Of course. Assuming that the evaluation is a compatibility index, it is normal that the same product has a different rating in relation to the subject that we are considering. Women have different needs for each nutrient and they are, in general, lower than men. This has its influence on the final rating of the product. Gender is not the only element that determines this difference: age, level of physical activity, specific physiological conditions or the presence of pathological states are equally important.

What data Edo needs for the evaluation?

The data on which Edo index is calculated are the nutrition facts and the list of ingredients and additives that can be found on the labels on every food product. Other important data are the needs of the different nutrients, coded by national institutions such as SINU (Italian Society of Human Nutrition), and information about the users that use the application (gender and age).

Where do we recover data for the evaluation?

As any consumer would do, we rely on information printed on labels of products sold in supermarkets. Therefore, they are public data to which everyone can access. More informative the label is, more data Edo can use for evaluation. When the new legislation on labeling became law, it has become mandatory for manufacturers to put nutrition facts on the label. Energy, protein, carbohydrates (including sugars), fats (including saturated fats) and salt/sodium is the data that necessarily will be present on different product packages. Of course, manufacturers can choose to extend this list and add many other important specifications, including the composition of vitamins and minerals. Edo takes into account the “virtuosity” and transparency of producers who want to communicate this additional information to the consumer, that can sometimes be specific to a product. For example, the case of the dried fruit. The dried fruit is notoriously high in fats but for the most part they are polyunsaturated fats, known as “good fats.” On the label there is no obligation to declare the amount of polyunsaturated present but, as you can understand, it is an important feature of the product.

Can ratings change in time?

Yes, it is possible. First of all there may be updates on the product, as a recipe change or new analyses conducted by the producers that highlight changes in nutritional values mentioned on the label, but especially there may be new scientific studies that prove or disprove any possible effect of additives and ingredients on health.

Why the same product can have different ratings?

Food labels are anything but static. Their update is continuous and constant: new analysis on the product which modify even minimally the nutrition facts, variations in the recipes, addition or substitution of one or more ingredients. All these situations can affect the data declared on the label and influence the final rating. Our team is always working to constantly update the data within the database, minimizing the discrepancy between the ratings of the same product.

How Edo works?

Why should I register?

Registration is required to use the app. The data related to gender and age are fundamental, as has been said many times, for the formulation of the rating. Register also allows you to use all of the app features like bookmarking products and saving basic settings cross-device. In the event that the user changes device, in fact, logging in with his username and personal password allows him recovering its profile and all the products added to the bookmarks.

Registering via Facebook or email, what is the difference?

There is no difference between these two registering modes. Edo use Facebook only for authentication before creating your account in our database. The same principle also applies to the email registration, with the insertion of the e-mail address and a personal password. After logging in Edo will not communicate with Facebook anymore until next logout-login.

Which products can I found in Edo?

Potentially all those who we usually find in the supermarket shelves. So all products whose label display a unique identification code (EAN), nutrition facts and ingredients.

How to search products?

You can search for products in two different ways. Manual search, in which you type the name of a product, and search using the barcode scanner. Scanner is the most direct way to use Edo: through the scanner it is possible to detect the barcode on the package and access the product card. It’s easy, you have just to frame the barcode with the camera that will open automatically within the app.

What if the scanned product is not in the database?

I prodotti presenti sul mercato sono tantissimi ed è possibile che qualcuno non sia presente nel nostro database. Ma non disperare! Puoi inviarci le foto del prodotto non presente, tramite una semplicissima procedura. Il nostro team provvederà nel più breve tempo possibile ad analizzare il prodotto e ad avvisarti con una notifica quando il prodotto sarà stato valutato.

Quanto tempo ci vuole per analizzare un prodotto inviato?

Il team di Edo è costantemente al lavoro per aggiornare la lista di prodotti presenti nel database, in modo da consentire agli utenti di visualizzare sempre più nuove schede prodotto. Purtroppo (ma per noi è una fortuna!) i prodotti che gli utenti inviano dai loro smartphone quotidianamente sono tantissimi. Noi ci impegnamo al massimo per inserirli tutti nel più breve tempo possibile ma potrebbe capitare che ci sia un’attesa anche di qualche settimana. Quando il prodotto che avete cercato e non trovato è stato insertio e analizzato, arriverà sul vostro cellulare una notifica di avviso.

What N.D. stands for?

Sometimes in the product screen you do not find the rating but “N.D”. This indicates that Edo has not been able to define a rating and it can be for several reasons. One is certainly the absence of the basic nutrition facts or ingredients, which by law must be present on the labels (but sometimes they are not…). In these cases, Edo has not sufficient data to determine the rating. Besides there are specific categories of products such as salt, coffee or tea, where calories and nutrients are so insignificant that a rating is no more necessary. Of course that does not mean we should abuse it, remember for example that the coffee and tea contain caffeine and salt contains sodium!

Pros and cons

They highlight positive and negative aspects about a product. In other words, they explain the salient features of the product, which can escape to a quick label reading, as we are used to do at the supermarket. Or they can just be curiosities about the food world. In practice, the pros and cons complement and deepen the rating, so … enjoy!

On what bases pros and cons are generated?

The pros and cons are a fundamental support to the rating, as they describe the positive and negative features of the product that you are considering. Many references, both national and international, including studies and legal texts, have led to the identification of minimum and maximum thresholds above which it is possible to consider a product containing an excessive or insufficient amount for each nutrient. For example: according to the terms of Regulation 1924 of 2006, a product can be defined as “low sodium” if it contains no more than 0.12g of sodium per 100g.

What are the official sources considered by Edo?

• SINU, Italian Society of Human Nutrition, which provides information about nutritional needs and guidance on standard drinks;
• INRAN (now become CRA, Council for Research and experimentation in Agriculture) and the Ministry of Health with their guidelines for proper and healthy eating;
• EFSA, the European organization that deals with food research and proves frequent reports and opinions on new products or new studies, especially on additives.
There is also a documentation of laws, both national and European, to which we relate constantly and that is the a reference for all of our activities.

How the alternatives are selected?

According the rating that each product receives. In relation to the specific scanned product, Edo will show you similar products with higher ratings in order to guide your eating habits in a healthier direction.

What is the pie chart in the third product screen?

The pie chart is a reinterpretation of the standard nutrition facts, in which we find the composition of the product, usually related to 100 g or ml. At the center of the chart we show calories related to the serving size. The chart, instead, consists of 3 sections, differently colored, that indicate through a percentage from which nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) those calories come. It’s not the simple graphic composition and, thanks to it, we can understand if the product energy comes mainly from fats or other nutrients.

Why is the serving size important?

A serving size is considered as a standard quantity of a food, in grams or milliliters. In other words, it is a unit of measurement in the context of a proper and balanced diet. The serving sizes that Edo uses are generally those declared on the labels by manufacturers. If these are absent we consider standard servings defined by SINU (Italian Society of Human Nutrition) for specific groups or types of foods. In any case the portion will be a quantity of reasonable size in relation to the type of food that you are considering.

It is possible to share with my friends all the information I find in Edo?

Sure. In the product card there is a sharing button, thanks to which you can let your friends know the rating (and more!) of your favorite product. You can share the product card on Facebook and on Twitter. This way you’ll contribute to make Edo known to everyone and help your friends to know what they eat.

How allergies and intolerances are handled?

I’m celiac, how can Edo help me?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is rapidly spreading in the world population. Today much is known of this disease and deal with it is not as problematic as it once was. But, like all consumers, even for people with celiac disease there isn’t an appropriate tool to assist in the daily choice of food. The goal of Edo is just that: to be a useful tool to consciously choose what to eat. On each screen about a product, in addition to the rating, there is also a badge that is usually colored gray and it turns to green when the product is declared gluten free by the manufacturer. With premium contents the experience changes completely: if a product contains gluten the rating disappears and we highlight which ingredients are not compatibile, suggesting alternatives that you can actually consume.

I’m lactose intolerant, how can Edo help me?

Lactose intolerance, regarding a sugar typically present in milk, is one of the most popular worldwide. More and more people discover to badly digest this sugar and they need a guide in choosing foods that do not contain it. The first step in the app is to signal in the product screen, with a dedicated badge, when the producer declared it product to be lactose-free. With premium contents the experience changes completely: if a product contains lactose the rating disappears and we highlight which ingredients are not compatibile, suggesting alternatives that you can actually consume.


Why alcohol doesn’t have nutrition facts?

Alcoholic beverages are exempted from providing the nutrition facts on the label, while manufacturers must necessarily indicate the alcohol content, that is the percentage of alcohol inside the drink. In order to evaluate this category of products, Edo considers this data and the optional presence of special ingredients (such as sugar) or additives (such as sulfites).

Can be the rating assigned to supplements and meal substitutes?

Like all products, these particular categories of products presents a label with ingredients and nutrition facts. But, for the moment, Edo has decided to exclude them from its evaluation. This is because they are products with specific formulations, in order to support the body in particular states, as nutrient deficiencies or during low-calorie diets. It is inevitable that such products can not be evaluated with the same parameters of the products that we normally find in the supermarket, both from a nutritional point of view and from the use to which they are intended.

Edo and food world

Edo’s work lies exactly halfway between the manufacturers and consumers. The goal of Edo is, as has been said many times, to be quick and easy to use for the consumer, guiding him in the everyday choices. In order to provide the consumer with the information he needs to make this choice, Edo is open to cooperate with other companies and associations. Often, the product packages are too small to contain all the information that producers or other entities would communicate. They are free to notify us and provide this additional certified information so they can reach the consumer. A real-time communication of information regarding the presence or absence of allergens (eg gluten free) can make the difference.

If your question is not among these FAQs, email us at info@edoapp.it