Food allergies are a growing concern with more and more people being diagnosed with an allergy every year. For these people, avoiding the allergen is the primary solution to keeping safe.
For those with food allergies who enjoy eating out, this can be difficult. Cross contamination is a serious concern as reactions can occur even when there is only a very small amount of the allergen present.
Food Allergen Detector
Researchers from Harvard University have tackled this problem and have come up with an innovative solution; the iEat portable allergen detector.
This portable tester can detect levels of allergens in a small sample of food better than the current best laboratory test in less than 10 minutes.
The detector consists of a pocket-size detector, an electrode chip, and a disposable allergen extraction kit. The detector sends the results wirelessly to a smartphone app.
The detector can detect the allergens found in peanuts, hazelnuts, wheat, milk and eggs. Researchers say it could also be used to detect other allergens and toxins such as pesticides.
The detector was used to test food and drinks obtained from local restaurants such as burgers, salads and beer. The results showed, as expected, gluten in the pizza and burger, and also some unexpected results. The salad contained gluten, most likely from the dressing and the beer contained egg.
The detector also found gluten in many of the gluten free options at 7 local restaurants. Three of the options had gluten levels far about the regulatory limit. The results were used to create a shareable online map.
The device is currently undergoing testing in the prototype stage so it is not available for purchase yet. In the meantime, make sure you always bring your adrenaline pen with you, especially when eating out. Our range of adrenaline pen cases and medication bags can help make sure your injector is always on you.
Image Credit: AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Allergy Lifestyle Limited (t/a) Allergy Lifestyle) uses reasonable endeavours to check the accuracy of information provided however no warranty is given that they are error-free. Always seek the advice of an allergy specialist and follow your anaphylaxis emergency care plan.