Spoon Guru, the smart food search engine for people with specific or complex dietary preferences, has appointed an advisory panel of world-leading health and nutrition experts to help implement new advances in nutritional medicine through its technology platform.

Spoon Guru’s proprietary technology combines leading medical insight with unique machine learning algorithms to reveal previously hidden dietary attributes in food products and recipes. Working with the international panel to explore new dietary requirements and foodstuffs and to expand the specific diets it offers, Spoon Guru empowers consumers to meet complex dietary needs in a systematic, data driven manner.

The carefully-selected panel comprises Dr Marc E. Rothenberg MD, PHD, Director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology and Director of the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders.  With an MD and PHD from Harvard Medical School and awards including the 2007 E Mead Johnson Award and the 2010 National Institute of Health Merit Award, Dr Rothenberg will focus on how Spoon Guru can promote better nutrition in those living with allergies and immune based diseases and use technology to improve patients’ quality of life.

Alongside him on the panel is Dr Carina Venter PHD, RD, a registered dietician in the UK, US and South Africa. Dr Venter has published widely in the field of food allergy, covering topics relating to prevention, diagnosis and management. She will work with Spoon Guru to deliver balanced nutrition choices for those living with allergies, whilst ensuring indvidualised avoidance strategies of food allergens.

Also joining the panel is Professor Graham Bonwick from the University of Newcastle. Professor Bonwick specialises in food safety and innovation and will work with Spoon Guru to study food fraud, allergy testing and research.

We are delighted to have a further four specialists on board. Anna Wheeler, a Registered Nutritionist with 15 years’ experience will also be joining the panel. Previously at Unilever for more than five years, her most recent position was as Health & Nutrition Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, where her role involved communications with health professionals and academics on about products, ingredients and the company’s health and wellness commitments. Anna has recently started her own consultancy business Anna Wheeler Nutrition Limited. Anna has a passion for communicating nutrition science simply and clearly, whilst helping to debunk nutrition myths, skills we are sure will be utilised during her time on the panel.

Dr Rachel Allen is a registered Public Health Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) and has worked for over 11 years as a Government Nutrition Scientist for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Department of Health (DH) and Public Health England (PHE), in addition to working for a leading foodservice provider (Brakes). She has now set up her own consultancy (Rachel Allen Nutrition). Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Bristol University, a Master’s degree in Nutrition from King’s College London, a Doctorate of Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She has been chosen for the panel because of her vision to improve the health of others through the use of the latest evidence based research and advice.

Dr Gonzalez is another strong addition to the panel, having been Assistant Professor at the University of Bath since 2014. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of human nutrition and metabolism and his research seeks to understand the interactions between nutrition and exercise in the context of health and disease. Dr Gonzalez completed his PhD in 2013. His thesis covered the areas of nutrition, exercise metabolism and appetite. Following this, he completed a post-doctorate training in collaboration with the University of Maastricht and Newcastle University studying the effects of nutrition on liver and muscle metabolism. His work continues to research the topic of precision nutrition to improve metabolic outcomes for human health.

Dr Antonis Vlassopoulos is an Honorary Research Associate in the University of Glasgow. He has exceptional academic and food industry experience. His research focuses on the role of foods and diets in chronic disease development on a molecular/physiological level (inflammation & oxidative stress). He also looks at public health interventions (nutrient profiling). His research focuses on understanding the multiple different interventions and mechanisms linked to weight management and obesity prevention. Dr Vlasspolopos has published in peer reviewed international journals through his work at Nestle Research Centre, as a Nutritionist and during his PhD and MSc in Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Adrian Hodgson completes the panel. As a Nutrition Innovation Consultant with a PHD in Nutrition, Physiology and Metabolism, Dr Hodgson will look specifically at how scientific insights into nutrition, health and wellness can be communicated to consumers through the Spoon Guru technology. His previous role was as a Senior Sport Scientist at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, delivering innovation within the sports nutrition category through ground-breaking scientific research.

The highly specialist panel will work with the in-house nutritionists and product team at Spoon Guru to ensure the latest scientific knowledge is integrated into the technology’s DNA to help those with specific diets and food preferences. In addition, and through the platform, the panel will offer professional guidance to consumers suffering from debilitating medical conditions, such as Diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s disease, amongst others.

With over 64% of the population now on a specific diet, Spoon Guru is on a mission to help people make the best food choices. Through its partnerships, the company is already helping a large percentage of consumers in the UK who follow one or more of 28 allergy or lifestyle diets. Over the coming years, the company aims to increase its advisory panel to over 20 world-leading nutrition experts.

Markus Stripf, co-founder and CEO of Spoon Guru, said of the new advisory panel; “Our panel will import specialist knowledge into our technology and tailored counsel to our users and partners. Not only will the panel be able to advise on allergies, intolerances or specific lifestyle diets, but it will ensure that our technology is underpinned by medical insight. We know that the majority of the world’s population now follows some form of a specific diet. We have seen huge increases in health conditions such as diabetes as well as increased food allergies and this makes our mission to help people make the best food choices for that diet all the more important. Our panel is part of that process and we’re proud to have attracted some of the world’s leading experts to our cause.”

Markus adds: “The new panel will help us to directly deliver leading scientific knowledge into the hands of consumers. The panel will also have a direct impact on the ability to roll out new diet profiles and food preference capabilities, whether consumers are using the app directly, or through our search function on retailers such as Tesco.”

Echoing Markus Stripf’s comments, Dr Rothenberg says: “I am excited to work with Spoon Guru. They have a game-changing technology that has potential to revolutionize the way we eat and improve healthy eating.”

Dr Venter adds: “We have learned over the years that very strict avoidance of food allergens is required by some. Ensuring individualised avoidance strategies to ensure that the diet is still nutritionally adequate and varied, despite allergen avoidance, is a passion of mine. We need to make sure that the right choice is made when people buy commercial products and that a variety of home-made recipes for different avoidance diets are available. Spoon Guru ticks all of the boxes for me.”

On joining the panel at Spoon Guru Dr Hodgson said: “Spoon Guru is an innovative company that has the potential to help people make better food and drink decisions more often. This can either be for people with allergies or intolerances, or those trying to shop better, to improve their health. Using Spoon Guru technology can make health and well-being fuss free.”

In addition to a number of B2B services and products aimed at the wider food industry, a Spoon Guru app is available to download free for IOS and android.