A prototype app can help identify mysterious food items on menus

A prototype app can help identify mysterious food items on menus


A new app is being trialled in a London restaurant to help diners better identify the ingredients in food after research indicated many don’t know some of the things commonly used in restaurants today.

The Transplater app has been built by Barclaycard and a prototype is currently being tested at Frederick’s in London, where diners can take a photo of the name of a foodstuff they want help identifying and are then shown information about the item in question.

The app uses Google text recognition to identify words in the uploaded image, and once identified runs it through ingredient databases including Cookipedia. According to research released alongside the app, 91% of people cannot identify every item they see on a restaurant menu. And 73% of those asked could not identify Guajillo Chilli, while 62% did not know what Girolles were.


Barclaycard’s director of payment solutions Kirsty Morris said: “We all love eating out, but choosing the right meal can make or break the overall experience.

“It is telling that so many diners are calling for technology to sidestep the embarrassment of having to ask what ingredients are. This is why we have developed a prototype app that restaurants could adopt to help diners feel more confident in their menu choices.”