If you suffer from a gluten allergy, San Francisco-based startup 6SensorLabs may be able to help make your life easier with a new device called “Nima”.
Nima is touted as a discreet, portable testing device that can determine the gluten content of food simply by placing a tiny piece inside a disposable capsule and inserting it into Nima’s main sensor unit. Within a few minutes, the device will display either a smiley face, indicating gluten-free food, or a frowny face, signaling the presence of the protein.
Although the device is said to be 99.5% accurate, it is not an FDA-approved device. So, Nima is being marketed as “a tool for getting more information about food when eating out”. 6SensorLabs co-founder and chief technology officer Scott Sundvor tells Live Science:
“We’re selling this as a device that can give another layer of data. This isn’t something that will help people treat their disease or diagnose gluten-sensitivity, and that’s why we don’t need FDA approval for the device.”
Further, Nima can only detect gluten in the portions of food that are tested, rather than an entire meal, which could result in false negatives.
Whatever the case, Sundvor has high hopes for the product, saying, “This is going to have a really big impact on people. It will bring more transparency to food in general and help people with their dietary issues.”
A Nima starter kit is currently available for pre-order with an expected release in mid-2016.