Science - September 10, 2015

App shares titbits of dietary info

Rob Ramaker

Hapsnapp is a new app which feeds its users interesting titbits of dietary information. The app was officially launched at the opening of the academic year and is intended as a creative way of entering into dialogue with the wider community.

Did you know, for instance, that the average Dutch person eats 60 kilos of bread a year? That tomatoes stored in the fridge lose their flavor? And that the humble onion is the second most widely eaten vegetable in the world? The new WUR app Hapsnapp has about 250 of these food facts up its sleeve, all based on Wageningen research. For a week they programme ‘chats’ with users, with every multiple choice answer delivering new facts. Enthusiastic users can then find more information on in-depth blogs, or even come to the campus in person for the Food Camp which takes place in December.

Wageningen UR’s aim is to use this app to get into a dialogue with the wider community. Louise Fresco was already emphasizing the importance of that in 2014. ‘Wageningen inventions can only succeed if they tie in with what is important to society.’

‘Hapsnapp is a creative approach to that kind of dialogue,’ says Marc Lamers, director of Communication at Wageningen UR. ‘And it gives you the opportunity to communicate with people on a one-to-one basis.’ Lamers hopes Hapsnapp will provide information that people find relevant in their daily lives.

The app is expressly intended as an experiment so Lamers is curious to see the results. ‘We don’t have a specific target group. Although it is quite likely that young people will be attracted to an app like this,’ says Lamers. ‘But I am very happy to be surprised.’ Whatever the case, he hopes the app will be downloaded 10,000 times and that hundreds of people will attend the Food Camp in December. A social media campaign will be launched to achieve this. Flyers will invite people to download the app and it is possible to play live on tablets.

Hapsnapp can be downloaded from Google Play and Appstore.
Photo: Japanexperterna