A novelty to be mollified the allergic may soon be on the market. This is a device that can be connected to the phone, called the iTube, which could detect in just 20 minutes the presence of allergens in food.
The invention is the result of research from the University of California, Los Angeles, is a small device that connects to the phone. The device uses the integrated camera on a cell phone along with a smart-phone application with accurate results as those of a testing laboratory.
Food allergies affect 8 percent of children and 2 percent of adults. Allergic reactions can be severe and even fatal. Although there are laws that protect the allergic is inevitable that manufacturing or transportation may take place of contamination, although in very small amounts, can be dangerous to the severe allergy.
Currently there is no way to detect allergens in time for the daily needs: in fact the equipment available today are very bulky.
To test for allergens, food samples are initially ground and mixed in a test tube with hot water and a solvent, and this mixture is left for several minutes. Then, the processed sample is mixed with a series of other liquids. The entire preparation lasts about 20 minutes. When the sample is prepared, optically measured for concentration of allergens through the iTube platform, using the camera phone and an intelligent application on your phone.
The phone not only tells whether allergens are present or not, but it can also quantify the presence.
ITube platform may experience a variety of allergens, including peanuts, almonds, eggs, gluten and hazelnuts. iTube has already been tested on some biscuits.
“We expect this phone could be very useful, especially for parents, as well as to schools, restaurants and other public places,” said Ozcan. “Once successfully implemented in these places, the large amount of data – depending on which position of the time – that this platform would generate would be invaluable for consumers, food producers, politicians and researchers.”
The results also marked with time and place, can be loaded directly from mobile phones on the iTube server to create a custom store, which could provide additional data for allergic individuals around the world. A statistical database on allergies, along with location info, it might be useful for future food policy, involving restaurants, food production and consumer protection, according to researchers.
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