This portable gluten tester from 6SensorLabs can detect if a food has 20 parts per million or more of gluten. Credit: 6SensorLabs
An estimated one in 133 Americans, or about 1 percent of the population, is affected by celiac disease. This is an inherited autoimmune disease in which eating gluten can cause severe damage to the small intestine, according to the organization Beyond Celiac. There are currently no treatments or cures for celiac disease except eating a diet without any gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
For people with gluten allergies or celiac disease, the idea of eating out in restaurants can be terrifying. A discreet new device, small enough to fit into a pocket or purse, could make eating out an easier and safer experience for gluten-sensitive people. Manufactured by San Francisco-based startup 6SensorLabs, the portable gluten-testing device, called Nima (It is not FDA approved yet), can test food for the presence of gluten, providing results within minutes with 99.5 accuracy and reducing people's food anxiety. Nima can't guarantee that an entire meal will be free of gluten though, because the tests only the portion of the meal that users place in their device.
I think it is a pretty amazing discovery, and look forward to what's next.