Admited that one in six people every yaer experience food poisoning, and over 128,000 of those people end up in the hospital because of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many food poisoning incidents happen due to things like mislabeling, carcinogens and pesticides used to keep them fresh and better.
For that, however, people will know what exactly they’re putting in their mouths and when, soon. Currently, only laboratories can scan food with a high level of accuracy to determine the chemicals inside the food, which we may be able to do just that with devices no bigger than our smartphones.
Called “Nima,” a tiny chemistry lab that people can carry around their pocket and this technology is being created by 6SensorLabs. The device can only detect gluten in foods for now, however, it can do so at a minuscule concentration, being able to detect as little as 20 parts per million, which is the therehold determined by the FDA as being “gluten-free.”
The 6SensorLabs technology could be adapted for detecting all kinds of chemicals and proteins – including ones like salmonella. Another, similar technology is being built by a company called Safe Catch, and it allows the company to offer what it says is the lowest mercury-contaminated canned tuna fish in the world. Specifically marketed towards people who need to cosnume as little mercury as possible – for those, pregnent women.
Finally, SCiO, which is last but not least, is able to identify chemical substances based on the light that they reflect. The sensor however is very small and could eventually be incorporated into a smartphone. Evidently, SCiO is only be able to look at the surface of food, so it isn’t as efficient as other technologies oft-mentioned, but it could detect food that is mislabeled.
Soon, all these projects will go live in the future which are still in their early days. We should have a much better idea of what we’re eating and check out before you do so.
Now that the 6SensorLabs‘ Nima device does cost $250, along with $5 for each disposable reaction chamber. It isn’t something for those simply trying to cut down on gluten in their diet — instead it’s made for those who suffer from celiac disease, a disease that causes people to be seriously ill if they consume gluten, which can happen when food isn’t packaged properly or is mislabeled.
(Source: The WSJ)