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05 February 2024

Nutritional AI: Making Our Shopping Baskets Healthier

Estimated reading time Time 4 to read

In the digital age, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force across numerous sectors, including the food industry. Notably, AI has become a key tool in detecting and catering to people’s individual nutritional needs while we do our grocery shopping. In recent months, the impact of data on shopping processes has been transforming the consumer experience by enabling more informed and personalized decision-making when it comes to food, with the aim of encouraging people to lead a healthier lifestyle. According to the World Health Organization, chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer pose a global health threat due to their increasing prevalence and high mortality rates. Indeed, they kill more than 41 million people worldwide each year, accounting for 74 percent of all deaths globally, and they are becoming increasingly prevalent. Prevention and proper treatment are both essential in reducing their impact on society. Scientific studies are unanimous on the importance of a healthy lifestyle to combat these diseases, with good diet and nutritional habits being key.

BBVA-OpenMind-IA y medicos-Carlos Galmarini-salud-walter-otto
Nutritional habits are closely linked to the development of chronic diseases.


One of the biggest selling points of AI in helping us fill our shopping baskets is its ability to constantly analyze products in real time. AI systems are able to scan nutrition labels, ingredients and dietary values, providing detailed information on each and every item. Thanks to this on-the-spot scanning, consumers can choose products and ingredients that cater to their specific nutritional needs.

BBVA-OpenMind-Designer-IA nutricional
AI systems are able to scan nutrition labels, ingredients and dietary values.

AI also relies on previous data, such as past purchases and food preferences, to customize recommendations at the time of purchase. There are tools out there that can predict and respond to consumers’ changing needs by suggesting healthier alternatives or products that might complement their current diet. This customization not only saves time, but also promotes a more balanced, bespoke diet. It is also essential that these new technologies alert consumers to possible allergies, dietary restrictions or even overconsumption of certain nutrients. Meanwhile, consumers can receive real-time suggestions on how best to balance their diet, along with healthier alternatives or nutritional supplements that might benefit their health.


The value of artificial intelligence is not limited to supermarkets and other stores; it can also link up with personal devices such as smartwatches and virtual assistants to provide personalized reminders and tracking. Users can receive custom alerts if their body needs certain nutrients or reminders to stay hydrated, thus contributing to a healthier and more conscious lifestyle. As technology evolves, we can anticipate a future where AI not only detects our nutritional needs, but also guides us towards a healthier lifestyle.[1]

An AI platform has been developed that is capable of tracking information on physiological parameters provided by various electronic devices (especially wristbands and smartwatches), triggering an alert if a parameter moves outside the healthy range, and offering specific nutritional recommendations on how best to bring errant parameters back in line. The aim is to prevent the onset of chronic diseases among the healthy population and to support their treatment through non-pharmacological solutions for those already affected. Notably, we have launched two tools that are mutually supportive and help prevent and control chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The scientific community is largely of the opinion that the prevention and treatment of these diseases should not be exclusively pharmacological, but must include changes in lifestyle habits, particularly when it comes to food. Unsurprisingly, more and more studies are showing that the type of food we consume has a decisive effect on the onset and progression of chronic diseases.[2]

BBVA-OpenMind-lily-banse-IA nutricional
The prevention and treatment of chronic diseases should also include non-pharmacological solutions. 

HealthGuard™ is a chronic disease prevention and management solution that relies on neural networks to exploit information on physiological parameters collected by various electronic devices, especially wristbands and smartwatches. The app tracks the values of these parameters and spots significant changes. These changes do not necessarily mean that the values have entered more sinister ranges considered pathological; even if these values are still within the ranges considered normal, the app is able to detect trends over time which, if prolonged, could indeed cause the values to veer into pathological territory. HealthGuard™ is able to interpret such deviations and classifies them as a potential risk of occurrence in a certain therapeutic category.

The tool not only identifies risks at an early stage, but also makes specific nutritional recommendations and suggests healthy lifestyle habits aimed at correcting such deviations in a simple and attractive way with the help of a second product: NutriGuard™. This app relies on deep learning neural networks to exploit all existing scientific knowledge in specialized fields (databases created and run by prestigious bodies within the international scientific community, as well as high-impact scientific literature) and to determine the physiological effect of the various molecular components of food. By scanning all this information, it is able to suggest foods capable of triggering a physiological effect to correct any deviation from what it considers to be healthy parameters.

La inteligencia artificial nos ayudará a tener un estilo de vida más saludable
AI will help us lead healthier lifestyles.

Nowadays, there are countless sources of information available to people who want to take proper care of their health and prevent or control chronic diseases such as those mentioned earlier, although it is very difficult to fact-check this information. Fads and “self-serving” advice not actually based on science can often have catastrophic health consequences. The average citizen simply does not have access to consistently reliable and medically robust information.

In the supermarket of tomorrow, innovation and health will converge. We will be able to buy products tailored to our nutritional needs, which will be determined by our own vital parameters measured in real time. Paradoxically, that tomorrow has already arrived thanks to artificial intelligence.

Carlos Galmarini, CEO of Topazium


[1] A. Doherty et al. (2021) Front. Genet. 12: 768979

[2] D. Dicker et al. (2018). The Lancet 392: 1684

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