The discreet handheld device could be a safeguard for celiacs.

By Danica Lo
Updated May 24, 2017
Credit: Courtesy of 6SensorLabs

More than a year after details about portable gluten detector Nima were revealed to the press, the discreet handheld device—which slips easily into a pocket or a purse—is finally available for sale.

Priced at $279, the Nima starter kit includes one triangular Nima device (which measure 3.5" across), three one-time use test capsule (which retail at $72 for a set of 12), one charging cable, and a carrying pouch. To test any food, just insert a small sample into the vestibule and wait for a reading.

"Nima is the fastest gluten tester on the market, letting you know if there is 20ppm or more of gluten in food in about 3 minutes," the e-commerce site explains. "When you put a sample of food into a disposable test capsule and screw on the cap, our proprietary testing solution searches for the gluten protein and announces if it's found. Once that chemistry has taken place, the sensor in Nima reads hte results of the test with extreme accuracy, analyzes them, and presents them to you in an easy-to-understand way."

Users who download the proprietary app can also share data on gluten-free foods—"It's a food data lovefest—share what you have tested and see what others are testing to stay one step ahead of gluten."

The startup, which was founded by chemists and engineers from MIT, Stanford, Google, and Nike, plan on expanding testing opportunities beyond gluten in the near future. TechCrunch reports that "the company says it's working on other capsule designs including versions that can test for dairy and nuts."

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which symptoms—including intestinal damage and compromised absorption of nutrients—is triggered by the consumption of gluten. Health governing bodies estimate that it affect "as many as one in every 100 to 200 people in North America" and is "one of the most common chronic diseases in the world."