cover image: Food-checker :A mobile-based crowdsourcing application for ‘dual quality’ of food


Food-checker :A mobile-based crowdsourcing application for ‘dual quality’ of food

6 May 2024

In the context of the policy debate and initiatives to address misleading practices that suggest to consumers that products marketed under the same brand and in the same or similar packaging have the same composition or characteristics across different Member States when this is not the case (often referred to as ‘dual quality’ (DQ)), the European Parliament has emphasised the importance of establishing a permanent monitoring system to track products sold on the single market. This feasibility study aims to explore the effectiveness of a crowdsourcing mobile app (Food-Checker) as a tool to monitor the occurrence of DQ. The app uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology and was tested using an awareness campaign and incentives to motivate users to submit product images. The app was piloted in five Member States (Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Romania) between September 2022 and March 2023. The study results demonstrate that Food-Checker can effectively utilise AI technology for monitoring DQ, particularly for capturing and extracting information from product packaging. Although there was a substantial awareness campaign, users’ engagement with the app was limited. In this regard, monetary rewards were found to be more effective than behavioural interventions. As a result of low user engagement and a small sample size, AI could not be fully trained in certain functions relevant to identifying DQ − such as identifying the same or similar branded products, distinguishing different product versions within a Member State and detecting DQ practices. The app could be a viable solution for monitoring DQ if the AI behind the app is further trained to enhance its performance and effective engagement tools are developed.
digital technology labelling product quality foodstuff report consumer information consumer behaviour food standard food control mobile application


Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Di Marcantonio, Federica, Nedelcu, Bogdan Radu, Padiu, Bogdan, Rebedea, Traian, Barreiro-Hurle, Jesus, Ciaian, Pavel

Catalogue number
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Di Marcantonio, F., Nedelcu, B., Padiu, B. et al., Food-checker – A mobile-based crowdsourcing application for ‘dual quality’ of food , Publications Office of the European Union, 2024,
Published in
Information technology and telecommunications , Food technology and food safety

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