Coeliacs and the gluten adverse don’t have to trust waiters ever again thanks to Nima, a new pocket-sized tool that tests for gluten in yr brunch.
You might think those who ride or die with the gluten-free lifestyle – aka those with an actual medical condition – might find perverse pleasure in asking “does this salad dressing have gluten in it?“, but I remember those weeks my doctor made me go #GF as awful. Side note: your #GF jokes are so dated, guys. Come on.
How does it work? You put a small solid or liquid food sample into a capsule, and the machine does its magic in three minutes – meaning your meal won’t go cold. If it’s below the a-ok mark of 20ppm of gluten, it’ll give you a smile. If you see a wheat icon, steer clear. It doesn’t require clean up or anything resembling a high-school science experiment, and there’s no need to play 20 questions with your waiter, either.
Never again be threatened by your friends! (Image source: Giphy.com)
Of course, there’s an app too, which means you can give fellow gluten haters the heads up of where to go and what not to order. Like Yelp, but so you don’t break out in blotches.
Nima was released this year, but its been in the pipeline for a few years now. In 2013 MIT graduates Shireen Yates and Scott Sundvor’s invention was granted a whopping USD $100,000 (AUD $135,999) boost by their alma-mater’s Accelerate competition, which turned an concept into tech. It was motivated by Shireen’s gluten allergies and Scott’s bung intestine, known to flare up when he had a bit of bread. I feel ya, Scott.
Bad news: it’s U.S. only atm – there, you can pick up a Nima for USD $279 (AUD $379.29), with subscription plans for the capsules. But Shireen and Scott are looking at how to serve the gluten-intolerant of the world, and if I understand anything about supply and demand economics (which I don’t), then it should reach our shores in the future.
Last year, the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score 2016 report revealed that 12.1 per cent of Australians are avoiding wheat and gluten, which means around 1 in 10 Aussies – just shy of 2 million people – have the same catchphrase: “Is this gluten-free?“
There are versions in the works for peanuts and milk products too, though if you’re on the really restrictive FODMAPS diet, mostly for those on the IBS struggle street, they haven’t started on working how to test for everything ever at once.