Shop healthy.
Avoid diseases.

Shop healthy. Avoid diseases.

In the app, healthy nutrients are Fiber, Protein, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium, Potassium and unhealthy nutrients are Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Added Sugars. If you do not choose any parameters for your nutrition needs, your settings will default to the guidelines best for the average, healthy adult.  These guidelines are outlined by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Food and Nutrition Board. Of those parameters, we consider the following categories:
  • The type of fats and whether they are heart-healthy or not
  • The amount of cholesterol and sodium per serving
  • The type and quality of the carbohydrates, based on total fiber and percentage of added sugar
  • The total amount of protein in a particular product
  • As well as key vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium.

The color coding can be interpreted in the following way:

Red = High in unhealthy nutrients or low in healthy nutrients.

Green = High in healthy nutrients or low in unhealthy nutrients.

We have also color-coded every product’s Nutrition Facts Label to take out the guesswork and help you understand which food choices are the best for you.

The FDA updated the nutrition label in February 2022.  This was the first substantive update to the nutrition label in almost 20 years. Below is an illustration from the FDA on the changes to the label.

Source: FDA 

Visit the interactive nutrition label to learn more or view the FDA video on the updated nutrition label above.

Food additives

More than 10,000 additives, mostly chemicals, are allowed for use in food sold in the U.S. 

By 2019, more than half of the overall packaged food and beverage products bought by U.S. households contained three or more additives.

These chemicals are added to products for a variety of reasons, including to add color or shine, to stabilize artificial flavors, to increase palatability and to extend shelf life. 

Many food chemicals have not been thoroughly reviewed for safety or have not been re-reviewed for decades with the newest science in mind. 

Scientists have expressed concern about the potential health harms associated with some of these additives. 

Given that 60% of US adults’ calories come from ultra processed foods that contain many additives, (and 66% for US children), detecting harmful additives in food products is a crucial step in selecting healthy foods.

How we score food additives

For scoring the health hazards of food additives, we leveraged ECHA and researched multiple credible scientific databases worldwide that have studied the impact of food 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.

Tera empowers you to avoid the harmful chemical additives that hide into your food.

By selecting these preferences, you will be notified of the existence of such chemicals and Tera will recommend much safer food alternatives.

These harmful chemical additives are grouped in 3 categories in the Tera App:

  1. Organ Toxicants – These chemicals cause potential harm to organs and bodily systems with extended exposure.
  2. Carcinogens – These chemicals may cause cancer with extended exposure.
  3. Reproductive Toxicants – These chemicals disrupt hormones and affect human reproductive function, fertility,  fetal development and growth, and nursing children.

The Flavors loophole in the food industry

How a food tastes is largely determined by the volatile chemicals in the food. Chemicals that give food a specific smell are extremely important because smell makes up 80 to 90 percent of the sense of taste. In processed food, this mixture of chemicals is called “flavor.” The same mixture of chemicals would be called “fragrance” if it were found in cleaning products, perfumes or cosmetics. 

When you see “natural flavors” or “artificial flavors” on a food product’s label, read it as very possibly  “hidden harmful chemicals.” A major loophole in FDA’s federal law lets food manufacturers not disclose the ingredients and chemicals they use to create these flavors and they may include harmful chemicals.

Natural and artificial flavors really aren’t that different. And those “natural flavors” can actually contain synthetic chemicals! 

Food products are flavored to increase sales by making mouthwatering and addictive tastes, making packaged food taste fresh, and making the taste short-lived so that you eat more.

Overall, thousands of chemicals are being added to foods as part of their “flavor” without FDA oversight or review of the available safety information or the concentration used. The food additive review system is broken.

Flavors are complex mixtures that sometimes comprise more than 100 chemicals. When you see the word “flavor” on a food label, you have no clue what chemicals, carrier solvents or preservatives have been added to the food. 

An analysis of the chemical contents of products reveals that the innocuous-looking flavors often contain chemicals linked to negative health effects like disrupting our hormones, compromising neurological health, and even increasing the risk of cancer.

Therefore the Tera scoring system treats any product that includes artificial or natural flavors as potentially harmful for human health and will color in orange the preferences buttons associated with Organ Toxicants, Carcinogens and Reproductive Toxicants and will color in orange “Artificial Flavors”, “Natural Flavors” and “Flavors” on the Ingredients page.

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.

For more information on the impact of processed food on your health check out our blog articles below: 

Food in America: A Looming Health Crisis 

Unveiling the Truth About Processed Foods (Part 1) 

Unveiling the Truth About Processed Foods (Part 2) 

The World of Conventional Agriculture 

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