A New Keychain-Sized Device Detects The Allergens In Food

A New Keychain-Sized Device Detects The Allergens In Food

Having food allergies is horrible because the allergic people must have to think over a hundred times before trying a new dish or having food at a res

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Having food allergies is horrible because the allergic people must have to think over a hundred times before trying a new dish or having food at a restaurant. Some allergies are hazardous, and the person suffering from it often keep their life at stake while eating. To aid all such people, Harvard Medical School developed a new device which tests the food for the common allergens that are present in the food. So the allergic person need not have to experiment with self.

This system is called integrated exogenous antigen testing system or simply iEAT. The researchers who worked on this project published a paper in ACS Nano journal recently.

The usage of this antigen extraction device is very easy. Put a small amount of food on single-use slide which performs the required chemical destruction. Plug it into the given iEAT device. The device is tiny and light-weighted that even fits on a normal keychain. It contains all the electronics that are required for analyzing the food sample.

The process might take up to 10 minutes to produce the results which indicate whether the food that is fed include any specified allergens or not. Though the results are time-consuming, it is a better option than to intake the food by risking the lives. So, when compared to the alternative that is consuming the food and endangering the life, this device would be the better pick. However, iEAT is not the sole product out in the market. Some of its rival devices are Nima which is very expensive, Ally but it did lactose in the prototype phase.

The device can detect the presence of common allergens such as peanuts, wheat, hazelnuts, eggs, and milk. It can also be configured to detect shellfish, pesticides, etc. When the researchers had tested the device on some restaurant items, it indicates the presence of gluten in “gluten-free salad”, also egg protein in the beer.

The device is available in the market at the cost of $40. Despite the cons, the iEAT is worth buying because it is always better to use the antigen extraction devices than to suffer from serious throat rashes or other symptoms.

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