6SensorLabs in San Francisco has developed a pocket-sized sensor that can help users test for traces of gluten in foods– a welcome innovation for sufferers of Celiac disease for whom the protein is impossible to digest and is treated by the body as an allergen. The Nima Sensor, as it is called, uses chemistry to test for the presence of gluten in foods. Users place a pea-sized amount of food or liquid (not including alcohol) into a disposable cartridge and screw on the top of the cartridge. The sample drops into the bottom of the sensor’s chamber where a reagent tests for a presence of more than 20 parts per million of gluten– the limit established by the FDA for a food to be considered “gluten free.”
The Nima Sensor is available for pre-order, and the developers are planning to launch a mobile app once the device begins shipping. The accompanying app will allow users to create a database of foods and restaurants that suit gluten-free needs. The developers at 6SensorLabs are also planning to create similar sensors for other common food allergens such as peanuts and dairy. For more information on the Nima Sensor, please watch the video above.