Gluten, It’s Everywhere

sliced wheat bread

Image by: abby

Have you ever had any diet restrictions? Has it ever led to embarrassing moments of harassing waiters, vigilantly viewing menus or even food labels to be certain whether there is an ingredient in the food item that you cannot consume? Anyone with a food allergy must face this awkward occurrence every time that they decide to dine out, which often discourages them from eating out altogether. For people who are struggling with gluten allergies or celiac disease, visiting a restaurant can be an utterly terrifying experience because they have to be completely sure that they do not consume any form of the protein … gluten.

Now thanks to the revolutionary advances in technology, there is a new innovative device which will readily compute whether a food item contains gluten. This small device, which can easily fit in a pocket or purse of any sort, can provide a better customer experience within minutes as it tests for the presence of gluten in food. It is called Nima and it is manufactured by 6SensorLabs, a San Francisco-based startup company. It aims to lower the anxiety that is endured when those suffering from gluten-sensitivity are eating at restaurants by offering a sense of dietary freedom.

The Nima uses small disposable capsules to test food in order to avoid cross-contamination but the device has not been completely perfected because it cannot guarantee that an entire meal is free of gluten, it can only be completely safe based on the portion of the meal tested which can lead to false negatives. This has led to the development of other devices similar to the Nima, which will detect other food sensitivities or allergies such as nuts or dairy ingredients in certain products.

The Nima sensor can be pre-ordered as a starter kit online for about $200 for the device unit and three capsules while additional capsules can be purchased separately for about $50 for twelve capsules. The device should be available by the summer of 2016 if production allows for it.