A small portable device that tests for the presence of gluten in food…Is this a dream come true?!
Those of us living with celiac disease have to follow a strict gluten free diet and are unfortunately often at the mercy of others when it comes to our health. The only way to know for certain that what we’re eating is gluten free is to stick to a whole foods (fresh veggies, fresh fruit, meat, etc) diet and to prepare it ourself in a kitchen free of gluten.
In theory, this is great, but the reality is this scenario is unrealistic. Any time someone with celiac disease eats at a restaurant or packaged food, there is always a chance of cross-contamination. Cross-contamination can occur where the food is manufactured, packaged or prepared…so it’s really easy to happen! Everyone is different, but for me personally, my body is so sensitive that the slightest trace of gluten will make me sick!
I’ve dreamed about the day where I could have peace of mind knowing if my food has been contaminated by gluten, and it’s finally happened! I’d like to introduce you to the Nima Sensor, a small portable device that tests for gluten in products.
Here’s how it works…
The Nima Sensor is a portable device that tests for the presence of gluten in food.
Along with the actual Nima Sensor, each time you test something you need a one-time use capsule to put your food sample in.
Once you put your pea-sized sample of food into the capsule, you screw the lid on until you feel it pop and cannot see the green line.
Then you place the capsule into the sensor and click it into place. Once you turn on your Nima, you will click the button again to begin the test.
Next, the motor in the Nima will mix the solution in the capsule with your food sample. It uses an antibody designed to attach to the gluten protein, which will trigger a reaction on a test strip within the capsule. While this is all happening, you will see a flashing sun symbol and hear the Nima really doing some work! After about 2-3 minutes, you will either see a happy face (gluten free) or a wheat symbol (gluten detected).
Here you can see the Nima detected gluten! *It clearly displayed the wheat symbol, it just didn’t show up fully in my picture.
The Nima has an app which you should download beforehand and then when you test your product, sync the sensor to your phone. Once the results are in you will get a notification on your app and can then log your results and build a catalog for yourself!
The Nima is tuned to detect at 20 ppm (The FDA requires that any product labeled “gluten-free” contain a maximum gluten content of 20 ppm). However, according to their website, “Based on internal testing, Nima has detected gluten at levels as low as 5 ppm. If Nima detects gluten at any level, the “Gluten Found” message will appear on the device.”
After researching the Nima and testing it out myself, a big concern I had was that if you’re only testing a pea-sized sample of food, then it’s not testing your entire plate. This is something that bothers me particularly when I eat at restaurants since we all know that cross-contamination can easily occur anywhere on your plate.
Their website provides tips and tricks for this issue such as:
- Wipe your sample piece all over your plate, touching all the food.
- Take a sample from the edge of cut marks (ex: from a sandwich or pizza) because cross-contamination can occur from the knife/pizza cutter.
- If your food has grill marks on it, take a sample from that section to test if cross-contamination occurred on the grill.
They have many other tips that I found helpful!
My final thoughts are that the Nima Sensor is a great tool to help me make informed decisions as to what I eat, however, I still am and will always be aware of what and where I’m eating in order to stay healthy. If I’m uncomfortable in a situation and feel my food was not prepared correctly, even if the Nima says it’s “gluten free,” I still will not eat it because I follow my intuition. Everyone needs to do what’s best for their own body and situation, so I’m thrilled to have the Nima help empower us as we make those personal decisions!
Make sure when you order your Nima Sensor enter the discount code: MSMODIFY for $15 off your starter kit!