Mummy Buzz


The Cell Phone that Can Detect Food Allergens

Go, Go iTube Gadget!

Listen up, allergy sufferers. If this holiday season betwixt with parties and canapes has you panicking, you need only turn to your cell phone to detect whether foods are nut-free. 

According to an article in Science Daily, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have created an iTube, a lightweight device that hooks onto your cell phone and can detect whether allergens are present in food
Using the cell phone's camera, the smartphone app performs a laboratory-worthy test to determine whether food is edible for allergy sufferers.
With so many kids today afflicted with severe allergies, such an easy and portable device sounds like a godsend. 
After 20 minutes the attachment can analyze a food sample which is ground up in a test tube with hot water and an extraction solvent. The sample is then optically measures the concentration of allergens present in the mix, even quantifying how much of the allergen is present in a given sample. 
Apparently the iTube can detect everything from peanuts, almonds, eggs, gluten and hazelnuts.
"We envision that this cell phone-based allergen testing platform could be very valuable, especially for parents, as well as for schools, restaurants and other public settings," said Aydogan Ozcan, lead researcher and UCLA associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering. 
"Once successfully deployed in these settings, the big amount of data—as a function of both location and time—that this platform will continuously generate would indeed be priceless for consumers, food manufacturers, policymakers and researchers, among others."
Do you think this gadget will catch on, or does it sound like a whole lot of bother?