Cell phone app can test for allergens in food
Food allergies have become a major issue in the United States today. Peanut allergies have led to baseball stadiums opening peanut-free sections, and many restaurants now have gluten-free kitchens for preparing food. But the mystery is often still present if a food contains any harmful contaminants. But a new cell phone attachment – called the iTube – may help people identify what allergens may be present in their food.
Developed by researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the iTube attaches to a regular cell phone and uses the built-in camera, as well as a smart-phone app that can run a test on food samples, providing laboratory-level sensitivity. The test says more than just "yes" or "no" for the presence of allergens; it tells a user specifically how much of the allergen is present in the food.