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Google search to highlight nutrition info

By Jacque Wilson, CNN
updated 11:12 AM EDT, Fri May 31, 2013
The Google nutrition search results are also available on mobile devices.
The Google nutrition search results are also available on mobile devices.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Google will showcase nutrition info for more than 1,000 foods in search
  • You can ask, "How much protein is in a banana?" and get a simple answer
  • Nutrition info can also be found using Google's new voice search feature

(CNN) -- Eating right is no easy task, especially when there's so much contradicting information online. Google is hoping to make it a little simpler by providing easy-to-see nutrition info for more than 1,000 foods.

Similar to the way measurement conversions or flight prices pop up in a box at the top of your search results, Google will display the number of calories, fat grams and other key nutrition facts for everything from bananas to burritos.

"You can simply ask, 'How much protein is in a banana?' or 'How many calories are in an avocado?' and get your answer right away," Google product manager Ilya Mezheritsky wrote on the site's blog. "You'll hear the answer to your specific question, see relevant nutrition information under an expansion, and be able to switch to other related foods or serving sizes."

That's right, he said "hear." Using Google's voice search feature, which the company introduced last month, you can ask your question out loud and get an response ASAP. Simply click the microphone icon near the Google search bar.

Power of protein
Debunking diet myths

Studies show that people consistently underestimate the number of calories they're consuming. Some of this comes from misinformation. Oftentimes, what one calorie-counting app says is 350 calories is listed as 475 on another source because they're user-generated.

Google's nutrition info will rely on the company's Knowledge Graph, an intelligent model that summarizes information from reputable sources across the Web. In this case, most of the data will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to Google.

"The graph helps us connect things that are related," Mezheritsky explained. "For example, when you ask for 'summer squash carbs,' we include 'zucchini' as a relevant food in the dropdown, because it is a type of summer squash."

The new nutrition search results will be rolling out in English in the United States over the next 10 days. Over time, the company will add more foods and languages, Mezheritsky says.

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