We have continued to receive feedback on our Android app titled “Is This Gluten-Free?” since it was first released. However, not all of the feedback on it has been positive. We understand that when using the app to scan the barcode of a product, the name of that product may not be found by the app. We also understand that when checking information online to determine whether a product contains gluten or not, that information may not be available. Some may be disappointed to find that certain information cannot be found through this app, and we can understand this disappointment. We would like this app to be as useful as possible to those who try to avoid the consumption of gluten. So this lack of information in databases used by this app is one that we are addressing.

It has been said that an app such as this one is only as good as the databases that it searches. And these databases do not always contain the information that users may want to find. These databases are maintained by people who put much time and effort into making information related to barcodes and products publicly available. And software such as this app relies on this information that is made available through these databases.

Online databases that can be accessed through websites such as UPCDatabase.com, UPCDatabase.org, and SearchUPC.com rely on contributions from people who volunteer to give this information. Therefore, if you would like software that relies on these databases to be more reliable, you may volunteer to contribute information on barcodes and their associated products to these sites. We have contributed information to these sites, and we continue to do so. And if you contribute information to these sites as well, then you will help make “Is This Gluten-Free?” and every other software application that uses this information more useful.

Online databases that contain information on whether products contain gluten or not such as GF Overflow and Celiaccess are maintained by individuals who try to make this information publicly available and accessible. And while GF Overflow only gets information directly from the manufacturers of products, Celiaccess relies on contributions from a community of users who avoid gluten in their diets. As more information gets added to databases such as these, this app will become more useful.

We appreciate the efforts made by those who make the information on which this app relies publicly available. The app that we wrote could not exist without the work done by these people. “Is This Gluten Free?” is an app that simply takes the information that is made publicly available and makes that information more easily accessible to those who can use it.

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