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Validation Information: e-CA

Torre 2017

Development and Evaluation of e-CA, an Electronic Mobile-Based Food Record

Measures that capture diet as validly and reliably as possible are cornerstones of nutritional research, and mobile-based devices offer new opportunities to improve and simplify data collection. The balance between precision and acceptability of these data collection tools remains debated, and rigorous validations are warranted. Our objective was to develop and evaluate an electronic mobile-based food record for a research setting. We developed e-CA, which includes almost 900 foods and beverages classified in 14 categories and 60 subcategories. e-CA was evaluated using three different methods: (1) usability and acceptability through a logbook and qualitative interviews; (2) dietary intake accuracy through comparison with 2 unannounced 24-h phone recalls on overlapping days; and (3) reliability and process comparison with a paper-based food record in a laboratory setting with a randomized design. e-CA proved to be intuitive and practical and was perceived as modern, trendy, and fun. Comparisons of e-CA with 24-h telephone recalls or paper-based food records in a laboratory setting with two small convenient samples showed good agreement but highlighted the well-known difficulty of estimating portion sizes and a necessary learning time to use the app. e-CA is a functional tool that has the potential to facilitate food intake measurement for research by increasing the pleasure of using the food record tool and reducing the perceived burden for the participants. It also decreases the workload, costs and the risk of transcription errors for researchers.

Web Link

Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Energy, Macronutrient, Food Groups
Tool Type
Food Diary Estimated
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 Day
Portion Size Measures info
Contain 900 foods and beverages. The portion size was entered by participants.
Reporting Method info
Format info
Supplements Measured
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Carouge, Switzerland
Associated Nutrient Database
e-CA food and nutrient database
Comparator Validated Against
24hr Recall


Sample Size
21 (Adults)
Age of Population

Range: 20-60 years

Other Notable Characteristics

Total number of nutrients validated: 3 info

Not all of the nutrients validated in the validation studies are included in the table below, as statistical data was only selected to be displayed for a number of nutrients, this included:

  • Energy
  • Fat
  • Saturated Fat
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Sugar
  • Non‐starch polysaccharides(NSP)
  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Retinol
  • Folate
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Urinary Nitrogen

To find information on the other validated nutrients please read the validation study.

  • Energy
  • Macronutrients: 3
  • Micronutrients: 0
Comparator Lifestage Sex Nutrient Measured info Mean Difference Standard Deviation info Correlation Coefficient info Cohen's Kappa Coefficient Percentage Agreement Percentage Agreement Categories info Lower Limits of Agreement Upper Limits of Agreement
24hr Recall Adults Both Energy (kcal) -101 400 NR -901 699
Protein (g) 2 22 NR -42 46
Fat (g) -9 20 NR -49 31
Carbohydrates (g) 0 60 NR -120 120
Fruit & Vegetables (count) 0.4 1 NR -2 2

Some results have been calculated using statistical techniques based on the published data.

For further information on statistical terms click on Statistical tests used in validation studies

All correlations coefficients in the table are unadjusted unless stated otherwise. For adjusted correlation coefficients and other statistical methods used in the study e.g. paired t-tests, please read the validation articles.

  • # Adjusted
  • † Energy adjusted.
  • ‡ For loge-transformed, energy-adjusted nutrient intakes.
  • ^ Adjacent included.
  • ᵟ Participants provided identical responses.
  • (w) = Weighted.

Bucher Della Torre S, Carrard I, Farina E, Danuser B, Kruseman M. Development and Evaluation of e-CA, an Electronic Mobile-Based Food Record. Nutrients. 2017;9(1):18.