David Papp Blog

Microwave that counts calories

Imagine a microwave that doesn’t warm your food, but scans it instead and instantly reveals how many calories it has. Thanks to General Electric, who are currently working on a machine that does exactly that, this technology will soon be a reality. This new microwave’s concept design can be found all over the web, but the final name and look is yet to be revealed.

How does it work?

Despite being called a microwave, this new version works in a completely different way than what we’re used to. It doesn’t cook the food, for one. Instead, it uses low energy microwaves to “scan” the food to determine its caloric content. The machine does this by measuring three main components: the weight, fat content, and water content.

At this stage of product development, it only works on purees, liquids and blended food. The technology is still being developed to eventually work on solid food.

Calorie counting made easy

When it comes to losing weight, one of the key rules to follow is to aim for a calorie deficit. This means cutting back on calories consumed and spending more calories through exercise. This new technology opens up opportunities for people to easily track the calories in the food they eat, helping them make better choices and paving the way towards better eating habits.

GE’s new microwave holds a great deal of promise since traditional calorie-counting methods involve a lot of research and keeping track of everything is tedious and time consuming. With this machine, all that hassle can be eliminated since it’ll get the job done in just a couple of seconds.

This is exciting stuff and definitely something to look forward to. GE’s research and development team led by biologist Matt Webster says that the finished product will probably be available to consumers in a couple of years or so.

37 thoughts on “Microwave that counts calories”

  1. Wow, what will they think of next!? How convenient, and probably frustrating! I would love for it to count my calories for me, but I’d also love to turn it off somedays. 🙂 Is there a “private eating” mode, like browsers have? haha!

  2. Hey that’s awesome. But can you turn it off? I mean it would be somewhat discouraging to eat 5 slices of pieces only to find out that you’re shoving 10,000 calories up your mouth. But it’s a great feature to add specially for those people who wants to lose weight and check on their diet, but how accurate is it?

  3. This is a great invention, but I too wonder how accurate it really is, I guess time will tell. It is a bit concerning just how calorie conscious we are becoming as a society, I think it detracts from the real value of eating healthy and exercising properly.

    You got a pretty good scoop here too as it will not be ready for a couple of years, good job!

  4. Well that’s a great idea. Although I’m not going to buy it, but it would help those people who wants to check on their diets though. But how accurate is it?

  5. I bought my wife one of those food scales where you punch in a code to represent the type of food it’s measuring. From there, it can determine the fat content, calories, etc. Seems like this microwave variant is the next step up and could be quite the eye opening for a number of people. Sometimes as people we prefer not to know what’s in our food and there’s a reason why, haha. In any case, hopefully this helps more people understand the bitter truth in certain circumstances and help them make more health conscious decisions.

  6. This seems like a pretty interesting idea. Microwaves are a large part of many people’s lives and there’s great potential for innovation there. Hopefully this goes through because honestly many people don’t have time to count the calories that are in each meal they eat. Whichever company comes out with this first can definitely make a lot of profit. The only issue here seems to be privacy.

  7. Now this is what I’ve been waiting for. Technology is so great, I would definitely buy one once it hits the market or at least once I get my sights on one. However I still want to know how accurate this thing is, I mean sure you can list down the food items and encode it in the device with the equivalent calorie count but still, what if you microwave more than one type of food? Okay I’m over thinking things, I’m going to purchase this the first day.

  8. I really wish it was a reality now. It’d help me a lot in my diet plan. It would be of great help even if it was a rough estimation. I do not think it would be accurate when it releases as calorie calculation is extremely complicated. I’m looking forward to it and I might get one when the technology gets cheaper.

  9. If this could be made to work it would potentially revolutionize the industry. GE stock would probably rise in value considerably if this product could be delivered. It does remain to be seen however if they can make it work with food that has not been turned into a liquid. After all not many people would prefer to eat their food as mush.

  10. This is not all that bad. Increasing both efficiency and the consumers overall health. I always wondered how true calorie counts on labels were and most of the time I need the internet to find out the calorie count for foods I find in the supermarket. It is a great investment and a good fitness gadget. I would love to see how this turns out.

  11. This is a very neat advance in the technological world, however I doubt the accuracy of it’s calorie counting potential.

    I’d have to see for myself of course, but if this is similar in any way to the food scales that I have experience with, the calories counted by the machine is not at all similar to the actual caloric value of the food.

    Hopefully this product is the start of a new era of realistic calorie counting!

  12. I think this is a great invention and can’t wait to see the final product. My mother is diabetic and this would help with her count calories, but maybe they will be able to add a feature later that will help diabetics keep up with the sugar content and such also. even if you are not obese you should always keep up with your calorie intake to help with heart health. I am still hoping for the day I can just pop in a pill for a few minutes and pull out a whole healthy meal after. Someday maybe.

  13. I think this is a great idea. I think it would be even better if it were somehow made to work within an actual microwave. Might make you think twice before you eat both Hot Pockets! 😉

    Robot voice: *BeepBoop* You are about to consume 680 calories. Do you think that is wise?”

    I guess it would be a boon for the microwave industry, though. What with the flurry of new sales from people punching their microwaves 🙂

  14. This is an awesome product for those who are trying to watch their calories. With this new microwave, it will definitely be more easier for those who want to loose weight and keep track of how many calories they a consuming. I will certainly be buying this product when it comes out. This is very useful and there are many people that can benefit from this.

  15. Upon reading the title of this article, I could only think that, “Yeah, that might actually work”. Since microwave do use the water content of the food to heat it up, it might as well measure it at the same time.

    This is great news for all of us who are trying to lose some weight and who are trying to eat healthier, since calorie counting is really a daunting task.

    I sure hope that they won’t name it “Microwave Oven” as to not confuse the consumers with its capabilities since it only does the calorie counting part. And I think it can be better if they would be able to add the “heating” or “cooking” part which microwaves usually has. So it would be a calorie counter and microwave oven in 1.

    Anyway, I’m hoping that the product will also be available in our country and with a reasonable price.

  16. I never heard of this product until i read this article. This is an amazing product for those people who would like to watch out their diet and fitness junkie. This would greatly help people to track their progress and make a big change in the food they take.

  17. This sounds really cool, but also a little creepy. How exactly is it scanning the food, and what is the food exposed to during the scan? I could see how this would be really useful for some people. It is interesting that it doesn’t work on solids yet, as they make up a huge proportion of microwaved food. It will be interesting to watch and see where this technology goes.

    • I mean to type “consumed” food instead of “microwaved” food, I guess I just had “microwave” on the brain with how many times I read it in the post. Right now it only seems to be useful for those on modified diets of liquids/soft foods, which in that case it would be extremely important to get a calorie count as they often need to build up the calories. Once the technology is in place for solids, then I can see the benefits as a weight loss tool.

    • About your inquiry regarding, what would the food be exposed to during the scan, I think it would be pretty much like how the common microwave work. Just a specific wavelength to “scan” the water content, fat and others variables. So i think, we shouldn’t worry much about the “radiation” if that is your concern. 🙂

  18. I cannot wait for this. It’s really great. Coming from a woman who spends a lot of her day figuring out how many calories I can have or how many calories are in a certain food, this machine is a must have. I also think it will reduce obesity. Having something doing the calorie counting for you will make weight loss a lot easier.

    • So far we are only guessing, aren’t we? 😉 I sometimes add each individual food to a calorie counting app, but it still is guessing! Not 100% sure you know? It’d be great to be 100% sure about how many calories any given food has, like for example the BBQ ribs we had today!

  19. This is a pretty amazing idea. I would imagine it is going to be pretty pricey though. I wonder how long until it is available and affordable for the general public. I think this is going to be a huge hit in the fitness community.

  20. This is a great idea–very “futuristic.” It could potentially help many people with eating healthier. Most people don’t want to be bothered with counting calories or watching portion sizes. This would make the process interesting and fool-proof. It would be interesting to gather data with it and see statistics on what you eat weekly or monthly too.

  21. I watch my weight, and would certainly like something like this to support me in the fight against obesity. My mom is trying to control her diet, and she is diabetic too, so she really has to watch her calorie intake. The problem is that we just take it for granted that certain foods are good and have less calories. We could calculate the exact amount, but who would do that every time. Okay, maybe a few, but not me. If I had this device, I would use it everyday. An hour before I hit the gym, I could measure the carbs I eat, and then when I am back, I could measure the proteins. This would let me accurately control my diet.

  22. This reminds me…I picked up a scale for food a year or two ago that’s similar to this. You put in the type of food you were measuring, and it’d tell you the calories. It’s amazing how technology evolves, even in such a short period of time! I don’t doubt that this will put a dent in many a weight watcher’s wallet!

  23. Wow, this is a great thing for those who really wanna lose some weight. This is the answer and solution to people who’re lazy and keep on procrastinating, thinking that going on a diet and keeping count of calories is a pain they’re not willing to take yet. Now, instead of paying a dietician, you can simply bring this gadget home and know what exactly you’re stuffing in your mouth, and whether you’re actually on a diet or you’re just fooling yourself. Thank you to the inventor from the obese community of the world who try to lose weight by dieting. 😀

  24. This is a very unique and exciting concept! I’ve always been tired of searching away for ages on my phone for the calories of my meal, so I can input them into my dietary app. But this just obliterated so much wasted time! I can now put my meal in them microwave and not worry about forgetting to Google up the caloric numbers!
    But I’m sure this will not be very cheap, so consumers may not be favoring such a product quickly until it’s compatible with all food types.

  25. Wow, this is a very good way for the average person to determine amount of calories in the food they eat. I for one would be interested to use one just to see how many calories are in foods that do not have the information labelled. I wonder though how this actually works. How can the microwaves “scan the food” Is there a reaction that occurs within the atoms to measure energy content? Regardless, it is very innovative indeed.

  26. This could be very useful for my family, all of which are always trying to count their calories. If this does it for you, well then, that’s just a huge load off our backs. The fact that it doesn’t work like a normal microwave also adds to it’s innovation.

  27. It makes sense that the researchers are testing their ideas against the food processing function of a microwave. The calorie tracking feature sounds a bit confusing. However, the ease would probably motivate people to make breakfast. Not everyone likes to cook breakfast, you know. Some don’t have time to do the dishes, let alone count the calories.

  28. Wow, this is actually pretty amazing. This device is not only portable enough to probably bring on a trip, but counting calories exactly is pretty hard alone. Most people don’t follow serving sizes, and even if they do, people add more calories in extras like toppings. This’d be an amazing weight loss tool, and people who are looking to lose weight without sacrificing good tasting meals could use this!

  29. This is pretty amazing. I am aware that there are many applications for literally every wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to wireless networks, X-rays to atomic spectroscopy. To think that we are still coming out with new uses for such a fundamental phenomenon in nature, despite it having been discovered over a century ago, is downright exciting. Who knows what else we might come up with in the future!

  30. Awesome!!!!! I’ve been counting calories for a while, watching what I eat and even keeping an eye on nutrients! I hope they also manage to let us know how much calcium, iron, vitamin B or A our foods have. That would be awesome! It’s cool this microwave doesn’t heat anything, I have a microwave, but never use it, because I’m a bit worried about the effects heating food inside it might have on my health. This one sounds like a great idea tho.

  31. The concept of this microwave has great potential and paves the way for these kind of products to have other capabilities as well. What I would love to hear about is that microwaves can count the amount of sugar or the amount of carbohydrates in meals. I’m a diabetic so aspects like that are highly beneficial. Nonetheless, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be more to come out of this I believe.

  32. Wow, I would definitely purchase this product. This is something I need and can help me from gaining weight back. I do have to wonder how exactly accurate it is, but I would try it out for sure.

    It would be great if you could also use it for something that does not need to be microwaved as well, such as – oh I don’t know – a peanut butter sandwich.

    • If it has great accuracy it would certainly be a plus. We see many apps for guessing calories. In the future, it would be great to know your microwave comes with a calorie counter that auto-identifies food and gets its numbers right by actual weight. That would be awesome.

      With the advent of “internet of things”, we sure can get an application to plug-in such information into a database for it to be retrieved by day/month/year.

  33. What a time to be alive! Food scans are now actually a thing. Genius implementation as well. Using microwaves affect. the water content and probably the fat content as well. I suppose they’ve built a weighing scale into the thing to account for measuring the mass.

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