Food Allergen Detector at $40

June 27, 2018  Source: mHealthSpot 194

Nearly every person is allergic to some factor or the other. The factors can be either food especially readymade foods, drinks as well as environmental factors.

Recently conducted research has shown that people are more allergic to cow’s milk compared to other food items. The causative agent can be some allergen which might cause skin rashes, vomiting, nausea, redness etc. What if there is a portable allergen detector that can detect allergens in food within only a few minutes?

A research team from Harvard Medical School are trying to invent a portable allergen detector, which allows the users to detect common allergens in food items within 10 minutes.

This keychain-sized portable allergen detector is called an Integrated Exogenous Antigen Testing System (IEAT).  By placing a drop or a bit of food on a single use slide namely an ‘antigen extraction device’, it can detect the allergen and its quantity within 10 minutes by performing necessary chemical deconstruction.

For the time being, this device can test milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat and hazelnuts. Later it could be configured to detect other factors such as pesticides, shellfish etc.

When the research team tested this device in few restaurants, they detected egg protein in beer and gluten in gluten-free salads.

The major positive factor is the cost. The device would cost only $40, once it reaches the market. Antigen extraction devices would be sold separately. Other competing devices on the market include gluten detecting Nima and lactose detecting Ally.

By Ddu
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