Check Your Nutrient Intake With A Veggie-Meter

 
03-Aug-2012 by

 

Veggie-Meter

Are you fond of veggies or do you shirk from them preferring to eat meat instead? Well, the USDA is currently developing the veggie-meter which is a laser based machine that will be able to measure whether you have had sufficient amount of vegetables. A pretty sophisticated way of finding out whether you are lying when you say that you have had your veggies isn’t it? Let’s see what the machine can actually measure and how it may benefit us.

 

Story Behind The Invention

Werner Gellermann, a physicist at Utah University and Susan  Mayne, an epidemiologist of Yale chanced to meet each other  during a 16 hour  flight to Austria. The conversation between them helped them in inventing a laser based technology which would help to solve  the problem of detecting the amount of carotenoids (orange colored pigment) in the body.  Various researchers have to use the ‘dermal posterior hip biopsy’ method now which wasn’t convenient either biologically or financially. Gellermann had already patented the technology for detecting the pigments by means of a retina scanner by then. However, both the scientists discovered that it would be much easier to use the method to scan the skin in order to find out the actual concentrates of vegetable nutrients in the body.

 

The Technique

The machine is known as a veggie-meter at present and can be carried around. It is based on the Raman spectroscopy technique deciphered in 1930. The veggie-meter can be used by inserting a fine probe into the palm or inner forearm of an individual for about 30 seconds. A blue laser light is beamed on the skin which then returns a green light. The brighter the green color, the more is the presence of carotenoids. The procedure can also be utilized in different ways. For instance it can detect the presence of salmonella or the nutritional value of a breakfast cereal. Gellermann  and  Mayne  published their research results in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2010. The laser method was found to be highly effective.

 

Uses

The technique is not available publicly at present ad is undergoing further testing. However, the scientists are hopeful of using it in a number of useful ways thereby detecting the relation between a low veggie diet and cancer. It might even prove to be helpful in surveys since the present method of asking questions may not always provide the right answers.

 

So do make it a habit of eating your vegetables now. The laser veggie-meter is bound to catch you out if you fail to do so.

 

Image Credit- modes4u

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