A California startup has developed a portable technology that will allow consumers to test their food for gluten.
The menu says its gluten free but is it really? It’s a question that people with debilitating food allergies face every time they eat. A California startup has developed a portable technology that will allow consumers to test their food for gluten on the go.
Designed in San Francisco by a team from MIT, Stanford, Google and Nike, NIMA can analyze any type of food or beverage for gluten down to 20 parts per million, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) classification for gluten free products.
“There is still cross contamination, there is miscommunication, you just never know,” Yates added.
Users of the device are instructed to fill a disposable cartridge with a pea-sized sample of food and then load it into the device, which is about half the size of a smartphone.
Roughly two minutes later, after the device measures the chemical reaction between antibody proteins and gluten, the screen will display a happy face if no gluten was detected.
Conversely, a wheat icon and text that reads “gluten found” will appear if any gluten is detected.
According to Yates, the antibodies bind to the presence of gluten if it is present in the sample, triggering a change that a sensor picks up on, Yates said.
To date, the company has raised $14 million in total with the help of a $9.2 million Series A round of venture capital funding earlier this year.
Yates is launching an iPhone application to complement the device, allowing users to share their results.
The first orders of the gluten device, priced at $199, are expected to ship out to customers by the end of the year.