Use code: 05ckidatrav & Get 5% off gluten products!
*** Updated August 2019******
Created by MIT scientists, 2016 Battlefield Hardware CES winner, and funded by a grant from the National Institute of Health, the Nima Sensor has been at the forefront of a bunch of chatter on social media lately throughout the gluten free community. While working as an official blogger for the Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Expo in Dallas (TX) in 2018, Kid Allergy Travel had the opportunity to get to know this revolutionary portable device and start an official partnership with this brand.
Our personal family truth is that we have been waiting for something like this ever since the day Kid Allergy was diagnosed.
Traveling frequently is tough with a child with an allergy. There was one week in 2017 when traveling that Kid Allergy visited three different cities and got gluten'd in each (Miami, Houston and Fort Worth). Our family has been looking for something just like the NIMA Sensor to add an additional layer of peace of mind when we travel. I hate having to solely rely on my mommy "gut" to feel out whether or not to trust a restaurant/server/dining situation. I want a second opinion. And, because Kid Allergy does not have a life threatening reaction, it isn't a life or death decision for us.
How do we use it?
Capsules are one time use so we don't use it when going to local dining places that we trust because it can get expensive if it takes the restaurant a few times to remake something. But, Kid Allergy won't dine in another city without it. He trusts it whole heartedly and won't eat the food if it comes out with gluten found. Does this mean sometimes he leaves a plate of food behind? Yes. Does that mean that sometimes his meal consists of a protein bar prepackaged from my handbag instead of a well rounded meal? Yup. But, this strategy works so well that when we were traveling throughout Southeast Asia (for ex), he made it an entire month without getting sick.
The sensor detects 20ppm meaning that it is pretty sensitive to cross contamination. Which is GREAT for our family because Kid Allergy does have a high sensitivity to stuff like that.
Ever wondered if this revolutionary portable food testing product is right for you?
Then....I do want to share a few limitations so you can make a well-informed decision before purchase.
Like most new technology, there is a cost to having access to this type of luxury. The device itself sits at just above the $200 mark and each cartridge costs about $6 each. Every time you test you will need to use one capsule.
But, for those that are doing the math right now, there are ways to make this more cost effective including discounts for capsules if you sign up for monthly purchase plans and reimbursement for capsules through your FSA/HSA (read more about medical reimbursement here).
Plus, not everything can be tested. The device is unable to detect soy sauce, vinegars, alcohol, hydrolyzed wheat, and anything else specifically acidic. So you need to keep these items in mind so that you don't rely on it in these instances.
Additionally, as it only tests one segment of the food, there is some risk of contamination on other parts of the food not tested that could also pose risk.
It isn't super fast, so you must know that it takes some time to complete the test. Sometimes, this means hot food can get a bit luke warm in the process. And, for a kid, it can mean that waiting these few minutes can seem like a lifetime for them. But, if you ask Kid Allergy, he will swear that this sacrifice is well worth the trade off to be able to eat food with the knowledge that gluten was not found in the portion tested.
Lastly, sometimes you can get pushback from restaurants when it comes out as gluten found.
This can be for various reasons. Remaking a dish is costly for a dining establishment. Or, the reputation of a restaurant is normally great for gluten free diners so it is hard for them to believe they cross contaminated something. Or, perhaps the place is ritzy and worries you are just trying to score a free meal.
But, in general, most servers and managers want to keep their customers safe and are willing to work with you.
Even with limitations, our family LOVES our Nima Sensor. We depend on it. It is something we even feel liberated using.
We totally know there are some strong feelings surrounding this product and we suggest you learn more about whether or not it is right for you here: What can't be detected by the NIMA Sensor.
Still interested? Wanna try it?
How about a discount?
05skidatrav for 5% off all gluten products!
Plus, it really starts to feel like a community with the Nima App (it pairs with your sensor and creates a #nimatested map). We also like that the community blog covers subjects beyond just testing food.
Read more written by me below as a freelance writer to get a feel for the overall Nima community, and to get a sense of what it is like to use the Nima gluten sensor product in daily life: