Food sensor that reveals unwanted ingredients now available

Oct. 7, 2015

6SensorLabs announced its portable sensor, Nima, will be available in the U.S. for limited pre-orders starting Oct. 20. Nima is a discreet device that allows consumers with special dietary needs to test samples of food for unwanted ingredients in about two minutes, starting with gluten, according to a company press release.  

"People who have food sensitivities, myself included, are always worrying if food is safe to eat, especially outside the home and in social settings," said Shireen Yates, CEO and co-founder of 6SensorLabs. "This anxiety often dominates their lives and restricts not only the foods they eat, but their activities as well. Nima alleviates the stress around unknown ingredients by providing more data about their food, delivers social freedom and makes mealtime enjoyable again."

The release stated that Nima is:

  • A hand-held device that fits in a pocket or purse for testing on-the-go. Its size also makes it inconspicuous when dining out or in social situations.
  • Easy to use: The chemistry and hardware components of Nima work hard so consumers don’t have to. In three steps, users can sample their food and test it for gluten.
    • Step 1 — Place some food into the disposable capsule and screw on the cap.
    • Step 2 — Insert capsule into the device.
    • Step 3 — Press the power button and begin testing.
  • Fast: In approximately two minutes, Nima will display the test result.
  • Sensitive: Nima will identify if a food has at least 20 parts per million or more of gluten. The U.S. FDA rule for gluten-free labeling requires food to have less than 20 ppm of gluten.
  • Social: Nima will offer a community component on smartphones with the ability to share food test results with other users via an iPhone app, coming in 2016. App users can view previous test results before dining out and report new results from their own meals.

"Food testing kits currently on the market are clunky and difficult to use, so very few consumers use them," said Scott Sundvor, CTO and co-founder of 6SensorLabs. "Our technology takes a whole new approach to food testing, focusing on a streamlined user experience through a unique blend of chemistry, electrical and mechanical design - all while maintaining sensitivity."

Gluten is the first of many proteins for which 6SensorLabs developed Nima. Tests for peanut and dairy are in development to be released after gluten, the release stated.

"We field new requests from customers every day for additional food sensitivities and substances for which they’d like to test with Nima, and our goal is to develop a test for each one in the future," Yates said.

The retail price of a Nima starter kit, which includes the reusable sensor and three disposable test capsules, is $249, the release stated. Starting Tuesday, Oct. 20, Nima will be available for limited pre-orders at a discounted price. For the first five days of the pre-sale, a Nima starter kit will be available for $179 until 11 p.m. PST Sunday, Oct. 25. Starting Monday, Oct. 26, Nima starter kits will be available for $199 until quantities are sold out. Additional 12-packs of test capsules will be available for $47.95 during the pre-sale. Nima pre-orders will be sold online only on the Nima website starting at 9 a.m. PST Tuesday, Oct. 20. Nima starter kits will be shipped to customers in mid-2016, followed by the general availability of the device.

Founded in 2013, 6SensorLabs is a San Francisco-based technology company creating greater food transparency that enables consumers to make healthier decisions.

Topics: Food Allergies / Gluten-free, Food & Beverage, Food Safety, Systems / Technology

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