A new portable device can almost instantly determine if a food item contains gluten.
The device, Nima, was created by San Francisco-based startup 6SensorLabs, according to Live Science.
Users place a small portion of their meals inside a disposable capsule, twist on the top and then insert the capsule in the device, which will yield a result in just two to three minutes.
A smiley face will appear on the screen if there is no gluten and a frown will appear if the item contains the protein found in wheat, rye or barley.
6SensorLabs co-founder and chief technology officer Scott Sundvor said Nima is 99.5 percent accurate and can test liquid items such as soups and sauces just as efficiently as solid food.
The gadget works by dissolving the food in a mix of enzymes and antibodies able to detect gluten levels as low as 20 parts per million, which is the US Food and Drug Administration's limit of how much gluten can be included in an item labeled gluten-free.
Sundvor noted, however, the device is not approved by the FDA and not meant for medical use.
Nima is instead designed mainly to eliminate anxiety for those who want to steer clear of gluten while eating out.
Sundvor told Live Science,
We're selling this as a device that can give another layer of data. This isn't something that will help people treat their disease or diagnose gluten-sensitivity, and that's why we don't need FDA approval for the device.
A Nima with three capsules is now available for pre-order online at $199.
You can also subscribe and receive packs of 12 capsules for $47.95, a discount only offered during the pre-sale.
Sundvor says the middle of 2016 will see the release of a Nima app where users can display the device's data regarding certain restaurants and food items.
6SensorLabs is also currently developing similar capsules to test for dairy and peanut allergies.
Citations: Portable Device Can Test If Your Food Is Gluten-Free (Live Science)