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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of the Recipe Function in Popular Dietary Smartphone Applications, with Emphasize on Features Relevant for Nutrition Assessment in Large-Scale Studies

1
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), 3721 MA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
2
Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University & Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010200
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
Nutrient estimations from mixed dishes require detailed information collection and should account for nutrient loss during cooking. This study aims to make an inventory of recipe creating features in popular food diary apps from a research perspective and to evaluate their nutrient calculation. A total of 12 out of 57 screened popular dietary assessment apps included a recipe function and were scored based on a pre-defined criteria list. Energy and nutrient content of three recipes calculated by the apps were compared with a reference procedure, which takes nutrient retention due to cooking into account. The quality of the recipe function varies across selected apps with a mean score of 3.0 (out of 5). More relevant differences (larger than 5% of the Daily Reference Intake) between apps and the reference were observed in micronutrients (49%) than in energy and macronutrients (20%). The primary source of these differences lies in the variation in food composition databases underlying each app. Applying retention factors decreased the micronutrient contents from 0% for calcium in all recipes to more than 45% for vitamins B6, B12, and folate in one recipe. Overall, recipe features and their ability to capture true nutrient intake are limited in current apps. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet apps; recipe calculations; nutrient retention; food record; dietary intake assessment; technological innovations diet apps; recipe calculations; nutrient retention; food record; dietary intake assessment; technological innovations
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Zhang, L.; Nawijn, E.; Boshuizen, H.; Ocké, M. Evaluation of the Recipe Function in Popular Dietary Smartphone Applications, with Emphasize on Features Relevant for Nutrition Assessment in Large-Scale Studies. Nutrients 2019, 11, 200.

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