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  • Jefferson Adams

    Wait-List for Pocket Sensor that Detects Gluten in Food

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 11/06/2015 - A San Francisco startup has begun a wait-list for a pocket device designed to allow people with gluten allergies to test quickly gluten levels in their food.

    Image: CC--Juhan SonlinAccording to the company, 6SensorLabs, the device, called Nima, is a portable, handheld gluten detector that could make dining out safer for people who need to avoid gluten for medical reasons.



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    Nima works by loading a half-teaspoon sample of food into a test tube and pop that into a triangle-shaped sensor. To avoid cross-contamination, Nima requires a new disposable capsule for each test.

    The sensor assesses the contents of the capsule, and detects gluten down to 20 parts per million. The device then provides a "yes" or "no" within two minutes. "No" signals that no gluten was detected and that the food is safe to eat, while a "yes" indicates that the food contains gluten.

    The retail price of a Nima starter kit, which includes the sensor, three disposable test capsules, a charging cable and a carrying pouch, will be $249.

    Read more at nimasensor.com.

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    For the price--and knowing that the capsules are single-use--they should include as many as 50 capsules. (Seriously, THREE? That's barely enough to test the efficacy of the device to the satisfaction of the user! )

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    If this is real and accurate, it's going to be a life-saver! Testing capsules should be sold in bulk packs. I'm going to wait and see what reviewers think first before I buy one, but I am excited for this technology.

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    Just watched a PBS news report about this product/unit, here is the link, hopefully it will post...

     

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/is-it-really-gluten-free-you-could-soon-test-it-table-side/

     

    What comes to my mind as someone with high sensitivity to gluten is a possible false sense of security from such a small sample piece. The Doctor from Stanford that was interviewed had the same concerns as I, sampling just one extremely small side of a meal may not detect gluten that might be on the other. She is afraid that this product may make patients complacent and more pron to getting contaminated.

     

    And if the meal comes out with three sides you're looking at a minimum of 6 minutes to test the entire plate, but in reality it'll probably take 10 minutes.... your food is now ice cold and your friends have all just finished their meals. GOD I HATE CELIAC!!

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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