Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New gluten sensor looks interesting, but pricey

I saw something interesting in Time Magazine's roundup of the "25 best innovations of 2015" - a new sensor product called the Nima that will allow us to test food for the presence of gluten in just two minutes.

As you probably know, there are a lot of products out there that would allow you to test your food, but they take a while to produce a result and by the time you know for sure that your food is safe, it's gone cold. A test time of two minutes is a big improvement.

The Nima is relatively small (3.5 by 3.1 inches) and its maker, 6SensorLabs, says it's easy to use. It will give you a little smiley face or a frown to let you know the results.

The downside is the price, which will probably prevent most of us from using it. A Nima starter kit, which includes the sensor and three disposable test capsules, is $249, although the company is offering it at a pre-order price of $199. The company isn't shipping the products until mid-2016.

Additional 12-packs of test capsules are $47.95 during the pre-sale.

I actually thought the most promising news from the company is that it will also offer a smartphone app that will let users see test results from other users, so they can learn about restaurants that are safe or unsafe for celiacs and others with gluten intolerance. The company did not say if you have to buy the Nima to get the app.

Anyway, despite the price, this is an interesting step forward for gluten testing. We'll have to see how well this product does once it actually does hit the market.

You can get more information at nimasensor.com

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