Authors: Maged N. Kamel Boulos, Abdulslam Yassine , Shervin Shirmohammadi, Chakkrit Snae Namahoot and Michael Brückner

Abstract: Automated food and drink recognition methods connect to cloud-based lookup databases (e.g., food item barcodes, previously identified food images, or previously classified NIR (Near Infrared) spectra of food and drink items databases) to match and identify a scanned food or drink item, and report the results back to the user. However, these methods remain of limited value if we cannot further reason with the identified food and drink items, ingredients and quantities/portion sizes in a proposed meal in various contexts; i.e., understand from a semantic perspective their types, properties, and interrelationships in the context of a given user’s health condition and preferences. In this paper, we review a number of “food ontologies”, such as the Food Products Ontology/FOODpedia (by Kolchin and Zamula), Open Food Facts (by Gigandet et al.), FoodWiki (Ontology-driven Mobile Safe Food Consumption System by Celik), FOODS-Diabetes Edition (A Food-Oriented Ontology-Driven System by Snae Namahoot and Bruckner), and AGROVOC multilingual agricultural thesaurus (by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization—FAO). These food ontologies, with appropriate modifications (or as a basis, to be added to and further expanded) and together with other relevant non-food ontologies (e.g., about diet-sensitive disease conditions), can supplement the aforementioned lookup databases to enable progression from the mere automated identification of food and drinks in our meals to a more useful application whereby we can automatically reason with the identified food and drink items and their details (quantities and ingredients/bromatological composition) in order to better assist users in making the correct, healthy food and drink choices for their particular health condition, age, body weight/BMI (Body Mass Index), lifestyle and preferences, etc.


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