🥕 What is Yuka’s mission?
Yuka’s goal is to improve consumer health by helping them make sense of product labels and make better choices for their health.
Our vision is that through informed purchasing, consumers will be able to leverage their buying power to drive the agro-food and cosmetics industries towards improving their product offerings.
✊ Is Yuka a completely independent application?
Yes, the Yuka application is entirely independent.
This means that our product evaluations and recommendations are entirely objective: no brand or manufacturer can influence them in any way. What’s more, the application doesn’t do any advertising.
💰 How is the application financed?
The Yuka project is financed with two sources of revenue :
- A paid version of the application. Users who choose to do so can become members and register for our Premium offer, which provides several additional features: a search bar, an offline mode and unlimited product history. Personalized alerts on allergens and undesirable ingredients will also be added in the near future.
- A Nutrition Program. This online program allows participants to learn the basics of a healthy diet in just 10 weeks. The program helps participants discover the golden rules of a healthy diet. It also provides access to recipes and a nutritionist.
🔒 Does Yuka exploit user data?
For ethical reasons, Yuka does not exploit or resell any user data. The data remains strictly confidential.
🍽 How are food products scored?
Yuka’s food product scores are based on three criteria:
Nutritional quality is 60% of the score.
The calculation method is based on the Nutri-Score method, created by the French Public Health Agency as part of the National Nutrition Santé Programme [National Nutrition & Health Program]. This method takes the following elements into account: calories, sugar, salt, saturated fats, protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables. The regulations governing use are available here.
The presence of additives is 30% of the score.
Benchmarks are based on the latest scientific research. We take into account the recommendations of the EFSA, ANSES, and the IARC, in addition to numerous independent studies.
Every additive is assigned a risk level based on various existing studies: risk-free (green dot), limited risk (yellow dot), moderate risk (orange dot), or high risk (red dot).
Information about the risks associated with each additive, as well as the corresponding scientific sources, will be available soon in the application.
The organic dimension is 10% of the score.
Products considered organic feature a European organic label (Euro-leaf).
🛁 How are cosmetic products evaluated?
The scoring system for cosmetics analyses every ingredient that goes into in making the product.
Based on the latest scientific research, each ingredient is assigned a risk level according to its potential/adverse health effects: endocrine disruptive, carcinogenic, allergenic or irritant. The potential risks associated with each ingredient are displayed in the application, with the relevant scientific sources.
Ingredients are classified into four risk categories:
- Risk-free (green dot)
- Low risk (yellow dot)
- Moderate risk (orange dot)
- High risk (red dot)
The score is based on the level of the highest-risk ingredient present in the product. If a high-risk ingredient (red) is present in the product, the score will automatically be red (lower than 25/100). If the highest-risk ingredient is a moderate-risk ingredient (orange), the product’s score will be poor (lower than 50/100).
The other ingredients will determine precisely which score the product receives within the defined range.
🔍 How was the database created?
In the beginning the Yuka project relied on Open Food Facts, an open, collaborative database that uses the same model as Wikipedia.
In January 2018, Yuka decided to create its own database in order to implement advanced systems for monitoring and verifying each addition.
Currently our database grows via:
- Contributions from users, who can enter information directly into the application for any products that aren’t recognized by Yuka.
- Certain brands that are willing to provide us with direct access to their product information. Because this information is exactly what is printed on the product labels, there is no conflict of interest involved.
💥 Where did this idea come from?
Benoit, the co-founders, is a father of three and wanted to buy only the best food products for his family. But he was lost in a dietary jungle trying to decipher every label. He realized how helpful it would be to have a tool that would automatically analyze each product’s ingredient.
He talked with his brother François and a friend, Julie, about the idea, and they loved it. In 2016, the three of them took part in a competition for startups, the Food Hackathon. They spent an entire weekend developing the concept, and won first place. Convinced that their idea filled a real need, they threw themselves into the project.
In the beginning, the tool they imagined wasn’t an app. They thought it would be a connected object shaped like a carrot that users could stick to the fridge. A few months later they realized that a connected object wouldn’t completely solve the problem, and due to its price tag it wouldn’t make product analysis accessible to all. They dropped the idea in favor of a mobile application.
🤔 Why is it called Yuka?
When the time came to name the app, Benoît’s wife provided the inspiration. She comes from Mexico, from the state of Yucatán! So Yuka was named in honor of that beautiful region, and a love that has no borders ❤️