Heart Foundation and CSIRO win top global award for FoodTrack app and web portal
The National Heart Foundation of Australia and Australia’s leading scientific body the CSIRO have been jointly won the United Nation’s INFOODS Success Stories Award for significant food composition achievements.
The award relates to their joint development of ‘FoodTrack’ and the award was presented at the recent 11th International Food Data Conference (IFDC) held in India,
FoodTrack was jointly developed by the Heart Foundation and the CSIRO and is Australia’s first cloud-based database, app and web-portal designed to collect product data (e.g. brand, nutrition information panel(s), ingredients, front-of-pack images, product information) from fresh and packaged foods in supermarkets. The technology was first released in 2014 and is updated on an annual basis.
The second round of data collection in FoodTrack™ is due for completion in early 2016. After the first year of implementation (2014-2015), FoodTrack™ contained nutrition and product data for over 13,000 food products across all major food and beverage categories in Australians supermarkets.
The FoodTrack technology was given the award due to its ability to improve the efficiency and accuracy of data collection. The technology is also able to deliver data collection in a sustainable manner reducing the use of materials and time.
App brings data collection into 21st Centaury
National Heart Foundation CEO, Professor Garry Jennings AO said FoodTrack has helped move the collection of food composition data from a paper-based operation to a technology-based one.
“The collection of accurate product data and the ability to monitor changes in food over time is key to driving strategies and interventions that help shape the nutrition and health of all Australians,” said Professor Jennings.
“In the past, food composition data was collected using third parties and laborious paper-based systems that resulted in extensive data limitations and a comparatively high-level of inaccuracy,” he said.
“The development of FoodTrack was driven by technology and has been instrumental in greatly improving the scope, efficiency, accuracy and sustainability of this type of data collection,” Professor Jennings stated.
Evolving Australia’s food supply
Reflecting on winning the award Director for Nutrition and Health at CSIRO, Professor Manny Noakes said FoodTrack has had a significant impact on the evolution of Australia’s food supply.
“CSIRO strives to work with partners to deliver innovative solutions that can benefit health and wellbeing,” Professor Noakes said.
“The collaboration with the Heart Foundation has been very rewarding and FoodTrack™ has enormous application to monitor how our food supply is changing,” she stated.