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Edamam Food Knowledge Site Takes To The iPad, Improves Desktop Experience

By   /  December 24, 2012  /  No Comments

Edamam, which has built a food ontology for its food knowledge site (which The Semantic Web Blog initially covered here), is adding an iPad version of its app to its existing iPhone and Android versions. The company also did a full relaunch of its web site to optimize the experience for desktop users, as well, with improved browsing and search.

Originally, the web site app mirrored the mobile versions. But, says co-founder and CEO Victor Penev, “We realized that people wanted to be able to access recipes and search on the desktop, and they should have a holistic experience from anywhere.” While the company had been more focused on the mobile arena, Penev says building traffic for the website is going to be a priority too. Among the capabilities users should see in the near future are functions like one that will let people save recipes on their iPhone or Android mobile devices and then access them on their iPads or desktops, or vice verse.

Since The Semantic Web Blog last spoke with Penev, Edamam has increased the number of recipes in its knowledge base, now boasting 1.4 million recipes from over 500 web sites. “We have have scraped these and organized them for easy comparability across sites based on nutrition,” he says. Edamam grabs the text of the recipes, applies natural language processing to it, and extracts ingredients, quantities, measurements and so on for mapping to its ontology and reassembling full nutritional profiles.

It’s added partnerships with recipe publishers such as the NY Times and The Daily Meal to power elements on their sites that provide nutritional information about some of their recipes.  With the NY Times, for instance, “they send us a recipe and we provide the nutritional information and display all the different elements of it, so it shows up on any of their recipes, right next to the recipe, with the ability for the user to click through and see the full nutritional profile,” he says. Edamam also offers a plug-in for bloggers to grab for it to automatically provide nutritional information for their recipes.

Other partnerships not yet formalized could have Edamam providing not just nutritional information, but other details. For a supermarket, for instance, it might be able to provide recipes alongside a shopping cart. “If you are looking for chicken we can provide chicken recipes, and you click through and ideally we can drop some ingredients in the shopping bag,” Penev says.

Penev says Edamam also has made significant progress on stucturing the existing data its has in the way of cleaning, scrubbing and organizing it. “The last few months we have spent a lot of time improving accuracy in terms of the nutrition we provide,” he says.


Edamam also now has moved into the stage of officially looking for an angel round of funding. “We want to do a business to consumer transaction-based model, build a way for people to purchase both media and ingredients and cooking tools and cooking classes,” he says. “We’re raising an angel round to get to the next stage.”



About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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