New Microwave Can Count Your Calories For You

GE’s new prototype can measure the calories of your food

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Imagine if your microwave could help you keep your weight in check.

Imagine if your microwave could help you keep your weight in check. Calorie counting is difficult and can sometimes be inaccurate, but GE has found a way around all of that hassle.

The company has developed a prototype microwave that measures how many calories are on your plate by using low-energy microwaves to count calories. At its current stage, food must be blended in order for the microwave to measure the calories, as the device can only take an accurate measurement if the food is homogenous. However, researchers at GE are developing a device that can measure solid foods as well, and are also looking to install the calorie-counting device in other kitchen applianceslike your oven.

Matt Webster, the senior scientist in imaging and biomedical technologies at GE, explained how the device worked to MIT Technology Review. According to Webster, an accurate measurement of calories is based off of three factors: fat content, water content, and weight. Subtracting the fat and water weight of a food from its total weight can approximate calories from the other components of food, like sugar and protein.

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Webster also told MIT that the reason the device is so accurate is because of the microwaves. “We’re looking at waves that pass all the way through the food. So you’re getting a complete measurement of the entire food,” he said. There is no expected date for when the device will go on the market yet.