University of Michigan students develop food allergy app

Posted at 3:12 AM, Mar 26, 2017

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — An online project created by students at the University of Michigan aims to make life easier for people with food allergies and special diets.

Co-founders Ish Baid and Michael Copley developed the Edible Project app to help people with diet restrictions find cuisine they can enjoy without worrying about allergies or ingredients, MLive reported. Copley’s severe dairy allergies inspired the idea.

The free app focuses on the Ann Arbor area and allows users to search by food item, diet or price using criteria like milk allergies or vegetarian and vegan diets. Edible Project shows restaurant hours and menu item reviews. Braid and Copley, who are software students at the University of Michigan, launched the product about a month ago.

“We want to really see how we can take this app and create something that’s helpful for our target audience,” Baid said. “If we can do it in Ann Arbor, we can do it anywhere.”

The app is available through the Apple and Google Play stores.

As part of a marketing effort, the Edible team delivered more than 1,000 care packages across the University of Michigan’s campus, outside of dormitory entrances and near businesses.

Braid said about 100 care packages were hidden throughout the Diag, the main pedestrian walkway through the Central Campus.

Some of the packages included candy, a fortune cookie and a message about the app. Others included dorm mats and lawn chairs with the Edible Project logo.

“We figured it would just get people talking and more aware of the issue and familiar with the product,” Baid said. “They got snatched up very quickly.”

Baid and Copley have set a new goal to get involved with an accelerator program to increase Edible Project’s knowledge base.