By Bridget

As far as using iPhone applications go, I’m guilty of only exploring a limited realm of solitaire, Words with Friends, and Draw Something. While people use Angry Birds daily, the apps don’t often extend into helping our everyday lives – until now.

I recently stumbled upon a press release touting a gluten-free application that tells you where gluten-free restaurants are relative to you (and your smartphone). The application (called Find Me Gluten Free) is definitely one that is great for families going on vacation that depend on finding restaurants with gluten-free options.

This inspired me to look at what other applications are available to specifically aid the gluten-free community and I found, what I believe to be, one of the best applications for any allergy sufferer.

The application UPC Food Scanner, which was just updated at the end of July, allows users to scan the barcode of different foods and will alphabetize the list of ingredients and alert users to the presence of potentially harmful ingredients, based on each users personal settings.

This type of application is particularly useful for people suffering from a gluten intolerance or Celiac’s disease because, as we all know, some gluten-containing ingredients can be incredibly elusive. While it’s easy to spot the “wheat flour” or “wheat bran” its not so simple to catch the “malt syrup” or “natural flavors” that can actually contain the allergen. This app, which you can take with you to the grocery store, can help cut out the guesswork when it comes to packaged foods.

As with everything, it’s always best to trust your own experiences with a food and not just go for what we read is a “safe” food. But a 99 cent application that can eliminate the anxiety of reading every ingredient label is definitely one worth downloading to your smartphone!