VTT unveils a cutting-edge food recommendation platform which enables personalized eating solutions


VTT developed an online food recommendation platform which can recommend food products and recipes aligned with consumers’ preferences to improve personal health and wellbeing. The platform can also be integrated to people’s own wearable devices.

People are more likely to eat healthily when they receive tailored suggestions and guidance than when they follow generic dietary recommendations. Personalization can also enhance customer loyalty and increase companies’ profits.

“Our web-based platform can be integrated to existing applications, online grocery stores or retailers to enable personalized shopping features. The platform combines rule-based and data-driven algorithm engines to offer decision support, assisting customers in selecting products aligned with their wellbeing and preference profiles,” says Jenni Lappi, Senior Scientist, at VTT.

Global Market Insights estimates the market size of diet and nutrition apps to be USD 308.7 million and estimated to increase at a CAGR of 17% between 2024 and 2032. Many solutions use personalization by teaching their software with the customer's purchase history. In the Me, My Health & My Food (MeHeFo) project, VTT aimed to improve on this existing method by using the customer's personal profile.

The personal profile information, such as body mass index, dietary requirements, and related personal goals for improving diet quality and selection of sustainable products are entered by the user via a form application. The platform is a novel solution as it integrates with the OpenAI API (application programming interface), offering a ChatGPT powered chatbot service for users to inquire about food-related matters and receive recipe recommendations. Additionally, a fresh feature differentiating from other existing applications is that it generates shopping lists with recommended real food products based on recipe ingredients. The recommended products are retrieved from the integrated GS1 Synkka food product database which contain basically all foods in the Finnish market. As GS1’s service is global, the database retrievals could be adjusted to global markets.

From external sources, such as wearable devices, the information to the platform can only be retrieved as authorized by the user. Such integration allows the customer's personal profile to be automatically complemented by, for example, physical activity data and other personal parameters registered by the device. The platform includes a test integration, which provides a model for integrating new devices with open API.

“For example, we integrated the platform to a prototype on-the-go snack manufacturing machine and tested usability of personalized recommendations among a small group of consumers. The feedback to personalization was very positive,” says research professor Nesli Sözer from VTT and Leader of MeHeFo co-innovation project.

“The adaptable MeHeFo food recommendation platform can be tailored and advanced further to meet the demands of personalized food solution providers. We are currently looking for cooperation partners to develop the platform for their licensing purposes,” Lappi continues.

Me, My Health & My Food project (2022-2024) was jointly funded by Business Finland and participating organizations. The project explores and develops personalized health, food and eating solutions in a consortium consisting of VTT, University of Turku, University of Vaasa, Valio, Polar Electro, UPC Konsultointi, Ravintoraisio, HKScan Finland, Seulo Palvelut, Verman, and Kumppania. 

Jenni Lappi
Jenni Lappi
Mikael Back
Mikael Back
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