Is this the ultimate diet detector? If colleagues are driving you mad with tales of virtuous January diets, but you suspect they have been scoffing cakes on the sly, new research from Aberystwyth and Newcastle Universities may be of interest.
The team found that they can determine which foods and in what amounts people have eaten over the last few days by analysing their urine.
By testing urine for the chemical ‘fingerprints’ of different foods, the scientists’ recent research demonstrated that they could determine whether individuals are eating healthy diets or not.
The test works by looking at the chemical ‘fingerprints’ of food. The team found substances called metabolites which are unique to different foodstuffs – those for healthy foods such as raspberries, salmon, broccoli and orange juice have already been identified.
"What we eat has a big impact on our health but it is very difficult to measure exactly what, and how much, people eat in everyday life - and people find it difficult to record honestly," the study concludes.
"Measuring what people eat can help prevent illness by showing definite links between particular kinds, and amounts, of foods and specific diseases."