In the recent past, celiac disease within the people due to intake of gluten included meals has become prominent and the number of people diagnosed with it have increased to a considerable extent. The presence of gluten for celiac disease people can lead to autoimmune disease that can cause intestinal damage. Thus it is very important that people suffering from celiac disease need to be served with gluten free meals, as even small traces of it in the food can be a cause of major worry.
Most of the restaurants today do serve gluten-free meals as available options. However, there are enough possibilities that during the cooking process, the ingredients do catch up with tiny amount of protein. In the past we have seen few of the smartphones that come with built-in sensors to check the presence of allergens and even some low-powered laser handheld sensors to check out what’s within the food.
Researchers from MIT have now arrived with sensor called as Nima to accurately detect presence of gluten within the food. The sensor is just 3inches tall and come with a triangular design. The sensor makes use of a disposable capsule within which a pea sized food is kept and the capsule is then slide within the device. Within 2 or 3 minutes, the display indicates the existence of gluten if it is there.
This sensor is capable of picking Gluten in 20 parts per million and above. For this, the sensor uses biochemical test called as immunoassay that makes use of the antibody sensitive to gluten. These antibodies will bond with the gluten molecules causing a change in the color and this change is picked up by optical reader which displays the message “gluten found” to the user.
The system will keep track of all the results and will update it on the Nima Smartphone app. Here the users can put information regarding what they ate and these entries can also be seen by other Nima users, giving them right suggestions about to places to visit for gluten-free meals.
The company is also planning to come up with similar devices that helps people understand their food habits and suggest the right meals for them.