- Clear Labs, a food analytics company, has launched Clear Food, an initiative that provides monthly reports to help companies and consumers learn more about their food via in-depth molecular analysis that determines accuracy in product labeling, nutrition content, and food safety.
- The monthly reports are generated by Clear Labs' proprietary food-analytics platform which provides genomic analysis. The foods are set to an objective rating system, the Clear Score, which represents how closely a product's molecular contents come to what is printed on its label.
- This type of molecular, genomic testing of food enables Clear Labs to "surface insights that go beyond a food’s ingredient label and packaging claims. Their analyses can discover substitutions, allergens, gluten, bacterial contamination and GMO," according to a news release.
The molecular analysis provides information in three main categories: substitutions, such as whether a product is 100% beef as its label claims or if there is 5% of another animal mixed in; nutrition content accuracy, such as the actual number of carbs, fat, calories, and protein, as compared to what appears on the product's label; and, for certain categories, off-label tests for safety concerns, such as hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, and heavy metals.
Testing for safety has always been an important function of food companies, but being able to test foods at a molecular level could present new opportunities to learn more about their products.
"We’ve found a 10-15% rate of discrepancy between labeled ingredients and actual ingredients across our internal tests to date. We started Clear Food to pave the way for consumers to make more informed choices about what they eat while rewarding companies and products with integrity — those that are what they say they are," Sasan Amini, Clear Labs CEO and co-founder, said in a statement.
The first Clear Foods report tested 345 samples of hot dogs and sausages from 75 brands at 10 retailers and found that 14.4% of the samples were, in some way, problematic.