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How we analyze products & brands

Health & Environment

We do our best to analyze products & ingredients based on available data from a variety of sources.  We utilize product & ingredient information from retailers and brands sites. For personal care, cosmetics, and household products, we analyze it against industry-standard data such as ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) and GHS (Globally Harmonized System of classification and labeling) in conjunction with Dr. Michael Burke, an experienced Product and Environmental Safety Scientist. 

For food products, we leveraged ECHA and researched multiple credible databases worldwide that have studied the impact of ingredients and additives on human health. We have incorporated insights from institutions like EFSA (The European Food Safety Authority), NutrelinoCSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), and U.S. FDA.

We analyze products based on over 28 criteria:

Health Impact

  1. Carcinogens - May lead to cancer with extended exposure
  2. Toxicity - May cause potential harm to organs and bodily systems with extended exposure
  3. Reproductive Systems- May cause potential damage to the reproductive system or impact unborn or nursing children
  4. Organic Certified - Products that meet strict standards, do not use harsh chemicals, insecticides, or hormones, and are produced through approved farming methods.

Health Impact:  Allergens and Ingredients Avoidance

  1. Gluten 
  2. Dairy
  3. Eggs
  4. Peanuts
  5. Tree Nuts
  6. Sesame
  7. Soybean
  8. Seafood

Health: Nutrition 

Tera allows you to select the nutrition categories you want to focus on when buying products. We use a color-coded system to alert you to the potential risk of a product based on your user-selected preferences.   Working directly with certified nutritionist Melanie Murphy Richter, MS, RDN, and guidelines outlined by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Food and Nutrition Board; we analyze the nutritional value of a food product based on the following parameters -

  1. The quality of the calories per serving
  2. The type of fats and whether they are heart healthy or not
  3. The amount of cholesterol and sodium per serving
  4. The type and quality of the carbohydrates, based on total fiber and percentage of added sugar
  5. The total amount of protein in a particular product
  6. As well as crucial vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium.


Click here to see more information about nutrition.   (link to new nutrition page)

Planet Impact

  1. Hazardous to Oceans and Rivers - Potential harm to aquatic life, oceans, rivers, and other waterways
  2. Depletion of Ozone Layer  - Potential harm to the ozone layer
  3. Vegan Certification - and/or PETA certified that the product contains no animal products or byproducts
  4. Animal Cruelty-Free Certification - PETA and/or Leaping Bunny certified that there was not ANY animal testing through any stage of the product development process
  5. Rainforest Impact - Impact on rainforests and indigenous people due to deforestation and industrial practices.   To start, we focused on identifying one of the biggest culprits of deforestation - Palm Oil   

    Tera allows you to select which of the aforementioned categories you want to focus on when buying products. We use a color-coded system to alert you to the potential risks of a product based on your user-selected preferences.  Click here to see more about how the app works.  


    For brand and product certification we utilize the following certifications: 

    1- Certified Vegan  - or PETA         

    2- Cruelty-free Certified - Leaping Bunny or PETA 

    3- Organic Certified - USDA  

    However, we are not perfect.  Product information can sometimes be incomplete or change.   So PLEASE ALWAYS double-check the ingredient labels, and contact the manufacturer for more information if needed. If you believe we have incorrectly listed a certification for a product please let us know so we can correct it for the Tera community.  

    Ingredient/Allergens to Avoid

    This is one of the most complicated components of the Tera Shopping App.  A single ingredient or common allergen may be listed with 100s of different names, derivatives, and chemical codes.   We do our best to analyze products & ingredients based on available data from various sources.  In total, we have identified over 1,000 different ingredients for the top 8 allergens.  As always, if you have a food allergy, please double-check the ingredients as well as look for cross-contamination, as some companies use shared machinery to process their products or derive common ingredients from allergenic sources. A list of the critical ingredients we identify can be found here.  

    We continue to refine and improve our methodology as we add products, ingredients, and new brands to your marketplace.  Feel free to contact us for corrections, suggestions, or additional feedback.

    To learn more about how the Tera app works, please click here.