Read the Label with the CalorieKing API

CalorieKing has launched "a Web Service which enables other developers of weight management applications to readily incorporate CalorieKing's more than 65,000-item food database". The CalorieKing database is the primary source of the well-known book "The CalorieKing Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter". Initial API details at our new CalorieKing API profile.


CalorieKing currently offers a complete search of the database at their site, along with software and subscription programs to help consumers monitor their intake. With the web service CalorieKing hopes to give "third-party developers and others a low-investment opportunity to include an externally managed database that is continuously and consistently improved, and which enjoys an excellent reputation for accuracy and quality." They envision Integration into new mobile and online applications.

Through their site you can search for any individual food, packaged meal, or chain restaurant offering. It was informative to use it and learn that a jumbo corn dog only satisfies 30% of my minimum daily saturated fat requirements, while the Fettucini Alfredo at the Olive Garden takes care of 128% of my daily cholesterol needs.

The web service offers two read methods - search for food using the same algorithm as on the web site (up to 30 matches at a time), and read the nutrient and serving information for any one food that's returned by a search result. Here for example is part of the XML returned from a REST request for a Kids Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal:


And here is Original Crust pizza by the slice, the pie, the ounce, and the gram.

Much like the new Yahoo BOSS pricing model, the CalorieKing API offers a tiered pricing program to encourage experimentation. It starts out at free for up to 20,000 queries per month, then $500/mo for 100,000 queries, with many increments up to $5000/mo for 1 million queries. The CalorieKing estimate is that each user of a weight management program based on this data would on average generate 100 queries a month, which works out to a monthly cost estimated at $0.50 per user. All paid options include a service level agreement and priority email.

Step-by-step tutorials and examples are available for three environments: SOAP API optimized for .NET (Visual Basic and C# examples) and Java (JSP with NetBeans example), REST/XML service for any language with XML support, and ASP.NET data control Library designed for ASP.NET 2.0 Web Forms.

Be sure to read the next Reference article: Like Words? You'll Love These 2 APIs