The first food DNA workshop
May 29, 2019

The first food DNA workshop was a success

Thanks to our dedicated team of participants who went through all the steps of the protocol with rigour and good humour, we obtained DNA from complex food samples!

A first in a community setting, this was a proof-of-concept: it is possible to obtain DNA from food using relatively simple and affordable equipment and protocols.

Workshop Image 1
© Alain Herzog / 2019 EPFL

© Alain Herzog / 2019 EPFL

We sequenced: pesto, minced meat, fish fingers, paprika chips, onion sprouts, chicken salad, ground almonds, a mix of grains, yoghurt, falafels, horseradish cream cheese and a tuna sandwich.

8 of the 12 samples provided considerable amounts of data. You can download the data here (link valid until 3rd of June 2019 at 4pm)

This is an example of one of the sequences:


Which of the following food samples do you think this sequence came from - paprika chips, cream cheese or tuna sandwich?

Tip: you can copy-paste it in to

Answer below.

The next steps are: to find a reliable way to analyse the thousands of sequences this produces, to see if we can clearly identify ingredients and if all foods present show up in the data, as well as figure out why some samples (marked with x) failed. Maybe the blender wasn’t strong enough, or the additives in the food inhibited the chemical reactions…

If you have any ideas, do get in touch via !

You can check out photographs from the event as well as the protocol here: If you try out the protocols, let us know - we’d love to hear feedback and/or collaborate.

Read the news article published on EPFL homepage:

Answer: it is capsicum, from the paprika chips

Food Repo expands to include DNA!
April 30, 2019

Where technology meets food transparency: Food Repo expands to include DNA!

A simple, affordable and open lab protocol to sequence the DNA in food? Access to the DNA sequence of your lasagna? Coming soon! We’re working on it—with a team of biohackers, food specialists and consumer rights advocates.

Find out more:

Open Food Hackdays 2018
January 22, 2018

FoodRepo will once again be part of the upcoming Open Food Hackdays at EPFL, on January 27 & 28, 2018. Find out more

Open Food Hackdays 27/28 January 2018

OpenFood changes name to Food Repo
January 18, 2018

As visitors to our website may have noticed, we have changed our name from OpenFood to Food Repo. The name change reflects our plans to become more personalized, and to expand beyond Switzerland. Both would have been difficult with the OpenFood Name. However, as can be seen in the logo, we remain fully committed to the open data cause, and other than the name, nothing changes. We look forward to growing Food Repo even more in the coming months and years!

OpenFood Community
June 02, 2017

Are you interested in helping OpenFood? Today, we a are launching the OpenFood Community! Our first priority is to get more complete weight information on the food products. We are looking forward to your engagement in the community!

OpenFood API V3 Released
May 04, 2017

We've recently released the OpenFood API V3 – this is a stable version that we expect to support for a very long time. V1 was designed mostly for internal use; V2 was designed for public use; but given excellent feedback during the latest Open Food Hackdays, we quickly realized that we needed to rethink our approach. The result of this process is V3.

You can try it out yourself by getting an API key and taking a look at the documentation. We've also published a number of examples and will extend this section quite a bit in the near future. Last but not least if you are developer please subscribe to the OpenFood Developer Newsletter to stay informed about the latest developments.

We're looking forward to see what the community builds with it!

Meet the OpenFood Developers
March 27, 2017

We’d like to highlight an event at EPFL on April 6. We will hold the first “Meet the OpenFood Developers" event at EPFL in Lausanne on Thursday, April 6th (QIE room - E building, Innovation Park).

This event is for those of you interested in becoming more involved in bringing the benefits of OpenFood to your specific communities. Everyone from the OpenFood team will be present to discuss with you personally any issue you would like to talk about (from tech support to launching concrete new collaborations).

In order to attend the event, please register here (space is limited). We are excited to see what we all can build with OpenFood data, and hope to see you at EPFL soon!

Open Food Hackdays
January 27, 2017

OpenFood will be part of the upcoming Open Food Hackdays in Lausanne and Zurich next 10/11 February. Find out more here.

Open Food Hackdays 10/11 February 2017

November 04, 2016

Today we are excited to launch - an open access database on information about barcoded food products sold in Switzerland.

Is there a need for such a database? Absolutely. Today, there is no database on Swiss food products that is truly open, free, and - perhaps most importantly - programmatically accessible via an API. The latter point is particularly important as it allows for the creation of an ecosystem around open food data, one of the main goals of

What we are launching is only the first version of We make no claims on completeness of the data, but with over 14,000 products in the database, we are off to a good start. We hope to leverage the crowd to help us grow and maintain a high quality database. In the near future, we’ll expand the crowdsourcing functionality of the site substantially.

That said, we realize that there are many different sources of open data on food that exist in Switzerland. In this context, we are excited to be an independent partner of the upcoming open food data hackdays, which will take place on February 10 & 11, 2017, concurrently at EPFL in Lausanne and at the Zhdk in Zurich. More information about this event, and a registration form, can be found at

This is just the beginning of a long journey. On the one hand, we’d like to provide much more data on food products than what is currently on the label. For example, with DNA analysis getting cheaper by the day, it’s quite possible that we’ll soon be able to allow users to upload DNA sequence data of food products (see and for inspiration).

On the other hand, it’s clear that a lot of food is consumed that doesn’t come with a barcode - think about the meals we eat in restaurants, for example. In this case, we’ll need another approach to capture the nutritional contents of food, such as estimating it from a picture. The team is working hard on this problem and will soon open a second API that is based not on barcodes, but on images (image recognition API). Rest assured that it will be open, too!


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