Areas of the blogosphere have been talking about Nima for a while now. The Nima sensor is a portable device that lets you test for gluten and peanuts.
The sensor has had some great reviews, Time magazine called it one of the best inventions of 2015, its secured 10 million dollars in funding and the founders were just named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
To cut straight to the chase, however, we absolutely do not recommend you use the Nima sensor. I’m going to go into the reasons why below.
We currently aren’t aware of any independent medical papers that verify the accuracy of this device. For example, groups such as the Canadian Coeliac Association advice against using Nima.
Nima only tests a small sample of your food. You might, therefore, miss the area of your plate that has the allergen present. If you think it through the Nima device as it currently stands is unlikely to ever be able to guarantee a dish is allergen free due to its sampling process.
On top of that, it’s very easy to improperly test for allergens due to the other ingredients interacting with the food and giving a false report. There’s a real danger that the Nima sensor is going to encourage people to eat unsafe food.
Last of all its really expensive. The sensor alone costs 200 pounds and you have to buy top-up capsules at 60 pounds so it’s not even a one-off purchase. That’s a lot of money to pay for a device that doesn’t fully and accurately test for the allergen.