More and more varied food products contain a lot of allergens. And the allergic people in all this, how do they meet? There are more and more people with peanut intolerances. To make life easier for them, the Nima start-up has developed a peanut detector that could avoid complications. This is the revolutionary solution about smart health. Read our Nima reviews.
It is common for people to end up in the emergency room after eating something they did not suspect to contain peanuts. The sensor developed by the start-up Nima promises to avoid this kind of situation thanks to its ability to detect the smallest trace of peanut in any food.
To do this, simply put the food in a disposable test capsule that must then be inserted into the device. In less than five minutes, the Nima sensor will tell you if your food contains peanut. The device connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to allow the companion app to view your test history and a list of Nima-tested restaurants that do not use peanuts.
Application: Nima, The portable food sensor
Includes: Battery Cable, Pouch, Nima Sensor
Price: The Nima Peanut Detector is sold alone for $ 229 alone or $ 289 with 12 test capsules. Nima also offers a gluten detector with similar operation and identical prices.
To prevent rather than cure is finally (and only) possible
After two series of internal tests, Nima provides a reliability level of 97.6%. It’s not perfect, but it’s an indicator that can guide allergy sufferers and save them a lot of trouble. Nima says its product is not intended to replace epinephrine injections to treat anaphylactic allergic reactions.
Only one small sample is enough for Nima to give a positive or negative answer. This small pocket lab is not for all budgets, but it has the merit of being useful. In addition, Nima offers a free application. Users share their experiences, give us the names of restaurants that serve peanut-free dishes. No need to have a Nima to consult his information, it is open to all. It remains to be seen if this health accessory works well.
At your fork, we track down all traces of peanut.
Unboxing of the Nima Peanut Sensor
The Nima peanut detector comes in a small square white box. The packaging is sober. He wears a picture of the Nima, held by one hand. We can see in the background a table on which are placed several dishes.
Everything is written in English on the packaging we have. On top, a phrase “Test food for peanut anytime, anywhere”. It says below this sentence, it is the Peanut Sensor or Peanut Detector and not the Gluten Detector.
Bottom left, still on the front of the package, we find this small purple logo shaped triangle. It will follow us throughout this test. It says here that peanut test capsules are essential for using Nima.
Below, we recall the name of the product which is accompanied by a few adjectives: easy to use, fast, sensitive, portable and connected. The website address is also mentioned: nimasensor.com
In very small, downstairs, warnings. Nima reminds us that the peanut detector is reliable only on the sample we gave it and not on the entire dish. “It’s important to always use your normal precautions at the same time as your Nima sensor. Make sure you always call ahead of time at any facility where you go to find out about your allergies, talk to the waiting staff and make them aware of your allergy, read the labels and always have your allergy medications with you “. A useful reminder, but very discreet on the packaging.
On the top, small icons tell us a little more about this product. A smiley tells us that this peanut detector is easy to use. Just put the sample in the disposable capsule and squeeze. The detector can find peanut in samples at parts-per-million level (a scientific term that we will discuss later). A laptop means that an application allows us to know which food is good for us and to share our results with everyone. A clock indicates the speed of analysis of Nima. This peanut detector is also above all a portable object, which by its size and weight is easily transportable.
Finally, several useful information. Nima can analyze many samples but for a complete list, the brand invites us to visit the site: nimasensor.com/peanut/manual. For the third time, and it will not be the last, Nima reminds us that single-use capsules are sold separately and that to buy them, you have to go to Shop.nimasensor.com. To open the box, we use the two small purple notches in the shape of a triangle.
We end up with a small purple drawer. Inside, a black plastic bottom that contains the micro-USB cable. He is carefully wrapped with two black elastics. Raising this background, we discover a small black cloth pouch decorated with the logo of Nima, the famous yellow heart that is transformed into a symbol of infinity. It is carefully folded thanks to a transparent ribbon. Once unpacked accessories we finally discover the famous peanut detector.
Design and Ergonomics of Nima at the service of science
The Nima peanut detector is a product with a simple design. It’s rather surprising when you think about what he can do. We have in front of us a small black triangle of 9 cm of side and 2.5 cm of thickness. within this product, Nima’s chemistry team has developed a pair of specific antibodies for peanut detection.
The peanut-free food industry is growing. We can now find everything: bread, pasta, cooked dishes without these components that we indisposed. Yet for the intolerant, being able to test food safely is less stress.
There are many chemical tests already available such as Glutentox Home or Foodconfirm Gluten. However their use is often complicated and not really fast. This is usually a strip to dip into the food. Then you have to wait about twenty minutes to hope for a result. This is not ideal when you are at a restaurant or at a friend’s house. Ditto for the SCiO and DietSensor application that they are not accurate enough to ensure the safety of their users. It is with this observation that a group of Gluten intolerant decided to transform all this and innovate in the field.
This is where the design and ergonomics of the product make perfect sense. It needed a product that was easy to transport and quick to use. The disadvantage is that it requires capsules to work and that they can not be reused. The Nima peanut detector, recharges very easily thanks to a micro USB cable. You can see the battery level at any time on the small screen.
A mini mobile laboratory
Before tackling the grip, we had to better understand what is happening inside this little triangle. We will try to explain some of the scientific terms that you will encounter if you walk on their site. Nima’s antibody chemistry has been developed by MIT scientists to be faster, cheaper and directly usable at the table. Nima is optimized to detect 10 parts per million of peanut protein and more.
“Parts per million” or ppm, what is it?
This measurement is the mass of a chemical or contaminant per unit volume of water. One ppm equals the absolute fractional quantity multiplied by one million. For simplicity, this science can detect up to a millionth of peanut or gluten. For example, we put four drops of ink in 200L of water, we mix everything. This procedure would produce an ink concentration of 1 ppm, and thanks to the Nima one would be able to detect it.
How it works ?
Each Nima capsule contains a test strip soaked with antibodies. If there is peanut in the test food, the antibodies bind to the protein and show a signal change on the band that is detected by the Nima electronic and processing algorithm.
Liquid extraction buffer
When a certain protein is present in food, the protein molecules are trapped inside the other food molecules that surround them. Only to test them, you have to isolate them. This is where the extraction buffer solution comes into play. To popularize this process, Nima has found a way to break the links between the protein and other molecules. This allows the band to react and therefore inform us of the presence of peanut or not.
Mechanism of grinding and mixing
This is the final phase. The capsule is refilled, and when the cap is screwed, it grinds the food into tiny particles, until all the food is exposed to the famous extraction buffer solution.
Inside the Nima there is a small motor that will take care of mixing all that in the capsule. Much like a pastry recipe, once the mixture is homogeneous, the solution will pass on the test strip soaked with antibodies. It is at this moment that chemistry operates.
To be sure of its process, Nima has performed thousands of tests on many different foods.
Getting started with the Nima peanut detector
Let’s move on to practice now. From now on we know more about this technology, but does it really adapt to our daily life? We tested the Nima peanut detector with a biscuit coated with chocolate. First you have to bring your peanut detector and then a capsule. Simply unscrew the cap, put a small piece of biscuit for example and then close the cap. Turn it to hear a “click”, then continue again, so that the food sample is properly ground.
Once done, insert the capsule into the Nima and press the center button. The screen will show “Testing for Peanut” and then a kind of sun will appear. From there, you will have nothing to do. The test takes about 5 minutes to tell you if the food in question contains peanuts. A small loading bar appears at the bottom of the screen to inform you of the progress of the analysis. If your dish does not contain the allergen, a small smiley will appear, if there is peanut, a peanut symbol will be displayed. A very simple test, no manual needed to use it.
Nima also offers a Gluten Detector. The object is similar, the color code is different, the purple will be replaced by blue. For disposable capsules it will be necessary to bring also the blue ones. It will be the same principle, a food sample and the analysis will take so much time. If there is Gluten a little ear of wheat will appear, if there is not, again a smiley. This test is positive but remember that its price is very high, the detector Nima and 12 capsules costs $ 289.
In order to pair your mobile phone with your Nima, you have to download the Nima app. The home screen is a map of the city where you are. Different small triangles are scattered. The gray means that no test has been done, the violets are those for peanut, the greens are for Gluten.
By clicking on one of these triangles you will see the name of the restaurant where the test was done, the number of tests, and the allergen control success rate. Then you have the option to click on this banner. Here you will be able to consult the tests, the name of the person who did it as well as the dish that it ordered. You will even have access to the phone, the site and the restaurant’s opening hours.
This interactive map is well done, gives a lot of information about where the test was conducted. In addition, you can ban or adopt the dishes tested according to the result. It saves time while being fun. Note, however, that this application is accessible to all and does not require the possession of Nima.
If the card does not enchant you you have the possibility, thanks to a tab at the top right to display only the list of restaurants. Or simply to start a search. Other tabs are available from the home page.
With the “Packaged” feature, you can search for or submit your own tests on industrial food products. No restaurants here but crisps, cakes, ice cream or prepared dishes. You even have access to big brands and some of their products. For the moment it is only American supermarkets.
Nima is a very useful item for those allergic to Gluten or Peanut. The application is very well done and interactive, moreover it is free and accessible to all. It remains to be seen if with more tests in France on the interactive map, it is really useful. The application is still in its infancy, we can not wait to see what happens.
The price is excessive, not everyone can afford it . The product is very interesting and useful but its cost is really crippling. Especially when you think that the capsules can only be used once and that they are sold separately.