The Science

The origin / The science

The Pro A Check Antioxidants Scanner uses a proprietary and patented technology that allows immediate and non-invasive measurement of antioxidant levels in human tissue. The antioxidants scanner uses reflection spectroscopy to accurately measure carotenoids in the finger.

Currently, the research instrument, trademarked as “VEGGIE METER”, is being used in over 100 universities worldwide. We have exclusive use of this technology for commercial purposes.

The inventors

Werner Gellerman, PhD

Werner Gellerman, PhD

Werner Gellermann received his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City in 1981, where he currently holds appointments as Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Adjunct Professor at the School of Medicine’s Moran Eye Center.

Dr. Gellermann’s research background is in Solid State Physics, where he developed ionic crystals for a novel, wavelength-tunable continuous-wave and femtosecond laser operation in the infrared spectral region.

In the mid 90’s, he and his research group switched to the field of Biomedical Optics, applying their experience with lasers and spectroscopy techniques to the development and commercialization of novel non-invasive detection methods for carotenoid antioxidants and related compounds in living human tissue.

Igor Ermakov, PhD

Igor V. Ermakov received a Master’s Degree in Physics from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in 1993, and a Ph.D. in Laser Physics from the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1997.

Later in 1997, he joined the Department of Physics at the University of Utah, where he has since been active in Biomedical Optics research. His major focus is the development of non-invasive detection methods for carotenoids and related antioxidant compounds in the human retina and skin.

In collaboration with medical researchers in the fields of Ophthalmology, Neonatology, Epidemiology and Nutrition Sciences he is investigating the health effects of antioxidants in living human tissue.

The Credentials

  • Published 21 peer-reviewed papers
  • Written 3 chapters on bio-photonics and bio-medical applications
  • Have 3 patents:
    • Skin Carotenoid Detection using Reflection Spectroscopy
    • Detection of flavonoids based on fluorescence spectroscopy
    • Detection of carotenoids in the human retina
  • Developed previous carotenoid technology that was used in over 10,000 scanners and generated over a billion dollars in revenue from nutritional supplements

The Science

Igor V. Ermakov, Maia Ermakova, Mohsen Sharifzadeh, Aruna Gorusupudi, Kelliann Farnsworth, Paul S. Bernstein, Jodi Stookey, Jane Evans, Tito Arana, Lisa Tao-Lew, Carly Isman, Anna Clayton, Akira Obana, Leah Whigham, Alisha H. Redelfs, Lisa Jahns, Werner Gellermann, “Optical assessment of skin carotenoid status as a biomarker of vegetable and fruit intake”, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 646, p. 46-54, (2018)

Christopher D. Conrady, James P. Bell, Brian M. Besch, Aruna Gorusupudi, Kelliann Farnsworth, Igor Ermakov, Mohsen Sharifzadeh, Maia Ermakova, Werner Gellermann, Paul S. Bernstein, “Correlations Between Macular, Skin, and Serum Carotenoids”, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 58, No. 9, p. 3616-3627 (2017)

Lori M. Beccarelli, Rachel E. Scherr, Madan Dharmar, Igor V. Ermakov, Werner Gellermann, Lisa Jahns, Jessica D Linnell, Carl L. Keen, Francene M. Steinberg, Heather M. Young, Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, “Using Skin Carotenoids to Assess Dietary Changes in Students After 1 Academic Year of Participating in the “Shaping Healthy Choices Program””, J Nutr Educ Behav., 49, No. 1, p. 73-78 (2017)

I. V. Ermakov, L. D. Whigham, A. H. Redelfs, L. Jahns, J. Stookey, P. S. Bernstein, W. Gellermann, “Skin Carotenoids as Biomarker for Vegetable and Fruit Intake: Validation of the Reflection-Spectroscopy Based “Veggie Meter””, The FASEB Journal, 30, No. 1, Supplement 409.3 (2016)

Akira Obana, Masaki Tanito, Yuko Gohto, Shigetoshi Okazaki, Werner Gellermann, Paul S. Bernstein “Changes in Macular Pigment Optical Density and Serum Lutein Concentration in Japanese Subjects Taking Two Different Lutein Supplements”, PLoS One., 10, No. 10, p.1/16-16/16 (2015)

I. V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, “Optical Detection Methods for Carotenoids in Human Skin”, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 572, p. 101-111, (2015)

L. Jahns, L. K. Johnson, S. T. Mayne, B. Cartmel, M. J. Picklo, I. V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, L. D. Whigham, “Skin and Plasma Carotenoid Response to a Provided Intervention Diet High in Vegetables and Fruit: Uptake and Depletion Kinetics”, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., (2014)

I. V. Ermakov, M. R. Ermakova, T. D. Rosenberg, W. Gellermann, “Optical Detection of Carotenoid Antioxidants in Human Bone and Surrounding Tissue”, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18, No 11, 117006-1 – 117006-8 (2013)

B. S. Henriksen, G. Chan, R. O. Hoffman, M. Sharifzadeh, I. V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, P. S. Bernstein, “Interrelationships Between Maternal Carotenoid Status and Newborn Infant Macular Pigment Optical Density and Carotenoid Status”, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), 54, No 8, p. 5568-5577 (2013)

S. T. Mayne, B. Cartmel, S. Scarmo, L. Jahns, I. V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, “Resonance Raman Spectroscopic Evaluation of Skin Carotenoids as a Biomarker of Carotenoid Status for Human Studies”, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 539, No 2, p. 163-170, (2013)

P. S. Bernstein, M. Sharifzadeh, A. Liu, I. Ermakov, K. Nelson, X. Sheng, C. Panish, B. Carlstrom, R. O. Hoffman, W. Gellermann, “Blue-Light Reflectance Imaging of Macular Pigment in Infants and Children”, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), 54, No 6, p. 4034-4040 (2013)

G. M. Chan, M. M. Chan, W. Gellermann, I. Ermakov, M. Ermakova, P. Bhosale, P. Bernstein, C. Rau, “Resonance Raman Spectroscopy and the Preterm Infant Carotenoid Status”, J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr., 56, No 5, p. 556 – 559 (2013)

S. Scarmo, B. Cartmel, H. Lin, D. J. Leffell, I. V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, P. S. Bernstein, S. T. Mayne, “Single vs. Multiple Measures of Skin Carotenoids by Resonance Raman Spectroscopy as a Biomarker of Usual Carotenoid Status”, Br. J. Nutr., 110, No 5, p. 911-917 (2013)

I. V. Ermakov, M. R. Ermakova, P. S. Bernstein, G. M. Chan, W. Gellermann, “Resonance Raman Based Skin Carotenoid Measurements in Newborns and Infants”, J. Biophotonics, 6, No 10, p. 793-802 (2013) [selected as a feature cover paper]

P. Bernstein, F. Ahmed, A. Liu, S. Allman, X. Sheng, M. Sharifzadeh, I.V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, “Macular pigment imaging in AREDS2 participants: An ancillary study of AREDS2 subjects enrolled at the Moran Eye Center”, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), 53, No 10, p. 6178-6186 (2012)

I. V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, “Dermal Carotenoid Measurements via Pressure Mediated Reflection Spectroscopy”, J. Biophotonics, 5, No. 7, p. 559-570 (2012)

S. Scarmo, K. Henebery, H. Peracchio, B. Cartmel, H. Lin, I.V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, P.S. Bernstein, V.B. Duffy, S.T. Mayne, “Skin carotenoid status measured by resonance Raman spectroscopy as a biomarker of fruit and vegetable intake in preschool children”, Eur J Clin Nutr., 66, (5) :555-60
I. V. Ermakov, W. Gellermann, “Validation Model for Raman Based Skin Carotenoid Detection”, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 504, No 1, p. 40-49, (2010)

S. T. Mayne, B. Cartmel, S. Scarmo, H. Lin, D. J. Leffell, E. Welch, I. Ermakov, P. Bhosale, P. S. Bernstein, and W. Gellermann, “Noninvasive Assessment of Dermal Carotenoids as a Biomarker of Fruit and Vegetable Intake”, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 92, No. 4, p. 794 – 800, (2010)

I. V. Ermakov, M. R. Ermakova, R. W. McClane, W. Gellermann, “Resonance Raman Detection of Carotenoid Antioxidants in Living Human Tissues”, Opt. Letters 26, No 15, p. 1179-1181 (2001)

T. R. Hata, T. A. Scholz, I. V. Ermakov, R. W. McClane, F. Khachik, W. Gellermann, L. K. Pershing, “Non-Invasive Raman Spectroscopic Detection of Carotenoids in Human Skin”, J.Invest.Dermatology, 115, No 3, p. 441-448 (2000)

Rush E, Amoah I, Diep T, Jalili-Moghaddam S. Determinants and Suitability of Carotenoid Reflection Score as a Measure of Carotenoid Status. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 1;12(1):113. doi: 10.3390/nu12010113. PMID: 31906259; PMCID: PMC7020072.

Radtke MD, Pitts SJ, Jahns L, Firnhaber GC, Loofbourrow BM, Zeng A, Scherr RE. Criterion-Related Validity of Spectroscopy-Based Skin Carotenoid Measurements as a Proxy for Fruit and Vegetable Intake: A Systematic Review. Adv Nutr. 2020 Sep 1;11(5):1282-1299. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmaa054. PMID: 32407509; PMCID: PMC7490174.

Reszczynska E, Welc R, Grudzinski W, Trebacz K, Gruszecki WI. Carotenoid binding to proteins: Modeling pigment transport to lipid membranes. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2015 Oct 15;584:125-33. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Sep 8. PMID: 26361975.

Widomska J, Gruszecki WI, Subczynski WK. Factors Differentiating the Antioxidant Activity of Macular Xanthophylls in the Human Eye Retina. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 14;10(4):601. doi: 10.3390/antiox10040601. PMID: 33919673; PMCID: PMC8070478.

Qin L, Bartlett H, Griffiths HR, Eperjesi F, Armstrong RA, Gherghel D. Macular pigment optical density is related to blood glutathione levels in healthy individuals. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Aug 24;52(9):5029-33. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-7240. PMID: 21546529.

Svilaas A, Sakhi AK, Andersen LF, Svilaas T, Ström EC, Jacobs DR Jr, Ose L, Blomhoff R. Intakes of antioxidants in coffee, wine, and vegetables are correlated with plasma carotenoids in humans. J Nutr. 2004 Mar;134(3):562-7. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.3.562. PMID: 14988447.

Stahl W, Sies H. Bioactivity and protective effects of natural carotenoids. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 May 30;1740(2):101-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2004.12.006. Epub 2004 Dec 28. PMID: 15949675.

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