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Analyze Your Food With A Device That Fits In Your Pocket

Processes that were once the purview of specialty labs are now being put into pocket-sized products to give consumers the ability to analyze their foods.

Developers hope the technology, currently in early stages, can advance to detect food hazards, like the presence of salmonella.

The reasons for wanting to know exactly what is in our food are many. Some are afflicted with life-threatening allergies to even the smallest amounts of certain substances, like peanuts, while others just want to know what is going into their bodies.

Soon, devices that fit into your pocket can also break down your food at a molecular level.

Sound like science fiction? It’s real — the Nima from 6SensorLabs detects gluten at as little as 20 parts per million.

Founders of the device hope in the future to adapt it for other proteins, and potentially to recognize food contaminants.

Other devices, like Smart Catch, are able to detect mercury in every single fish caught for consumption, not just a sampling.

Consumer Physics of Israel have introduced SCiO, a sensor that can identify substances by the light they reflect — potentially uncovering whether foods are mislabeled or fraudulent.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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