The best apps and websites to see the ingredients and additives in the products

We often have doubts when it comes to choose a product among similar options (and it is not only due to the price comparison). Brands must include the complete list of ingredients and additives following certain Mandatory label legibility standards but in reality, few users are dedicated to paying attention to this data. In addition, the consumer is not an expert in recognizing the name and use of certain components and, due to ignorance, people pay more attention to the promotional content of the package than to the nutritional values ​​and ingredients.

However, for a few years we have been able to find a series of applications that help us to know all the ingredients and additives in a quick, simple and understandable way by passing the product’s barcode. Here is the list of the most popular and best rated apps:


Yuka is the best known app to obtain information on the complete list of ingredients of many food, beverage and cosmetic products. To start using it you have to download it to your mobile phone, open it and press the scanner icon in the lower corner of the screen and place the product barcode on box (like a QR code).

In a few moments all the complete information will appear: additives, sugar, energy value, saturated fats, proteins… The Yuka application separates the aspects considered positive and negative into two sections and assesses them using the colors: green – good / orange – regular / red – bad.

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You can go further and consult more details about the additives present, especially when they are labeled as “at risk” in red. To do this, open the dropdown and click on: More information on additives. will appear ordered from worst or best consideration next to its name in the list of ingredients and what this particular additive is used for.

In the case of body hygiene and cosmetic products Yuka gives us big surprises (for better and for worse). It is capable of detecting and qualifying all the ingredients of the composition and when it comes to a risk ingredient, it also gives the explanation in the details section.

Here is an example that includes several random products scanned from a supermarket:

List of additives in Yuka random feed products


This application works in a very similar way to the previous one, but currently it does not have such a large database. However, their own users can register new products if at the time of scanning they are not available. MyRealFood tells you in which supermarket you can find that product, the scale of macronutrients and other healthier alternatives to the product just analyzed, but the best thing is that it specifies the pros and cons of each scanned product in a very easy to understand way. For example:

  • good processing
  • ultra processed
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Low in salt / High in salt
  • Very high in protein
  • very low in sugar
  • High in fiber
  • Contains refined oils / refined flours
  • Contains sweeteners
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The coconut

App dedicated to a very specific profile: “The Conscious Consumer”. In this case we are asked to log in to use the application. When scanning a product the application shows a rating from 0 to 10 with a message that clarifies if it is a good product, if it could be better or if it is definitely not recommended. When clicking on the product to find out more information, we can see the ingredients in a column and right next to it all the additives present in alphabetical order. There are also various notices at the top for the user. For example:

  • Not recommended by WHO
  • ultra processed
  • High in calories / sodium / sugar

When a product is not in the El Coco database, the app will request help from the user to add it. Lastly, Coco does not rate food supplements (such as vitamins, amino acids…) not sweeteners (such as stevia). In these cases, a neutral message will be displayed to communicate that there is no review for that product.

El coco: app for the Conscious Consumer

El coco: app for the Conscious Consumer

Clean Beauty

With this application you will need take a picture of the ingredients part of the label and the app is capable of recognizing them, evaluating them and displaying the possible controversial ingredients found on the list. Also offers a glossary to search for a specific term.

Tightly Curly

This is a page that contains as a dictionary the explanation of all the ingredients used in body and hair cosmetic products. Tightly Curly is in English and to carry out the search we must select the initial of the ingredient that we want to examine and locate the term within the list (as if it were a dictionary). The page grants a rating for each ingredient just before the description of it:

  1. good: good
  2. okay: acceptable
  3. caution: caution
  4. Avoid: forbidden
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In this case, the application works in a similar way to the previous web page (but in Spanish). You enter the ingredient name in search engine. A description of its operation and possible harmful effects will appear.

How to use the apps to see the ingredients and additives?

After knowing the list with the best apps and websites to check all the ingredients and even the additives present, the most recommended thing is don’t obsess over evaluations and grades nor start throwing away certain foods, drinks and hygiene and cosmetic products that we have at home. Rather, these applications help us have a global vision of the product knowing that each of the applications establishes its own criteria when evaluating.

Of course, this does not mean that, as far as possible, apps help us to discard products that contain dangerous additives (even if they are authorized at the present time). It is also important know the nutritional values ​​and real macronutrients that promise some healthy-looking products and the veracity of natural origin, eco or BIO of certain personal hygiene products. Once again, technology can help us improve our overall health and to make better decisions when filling the shopping basket.