Testing Food with Nima: How much food do I need?
In addition to testing food with Nima to determine if an allergen is present (gluten as the focus to date), we’ve also been testing the mechanical aspects of our product.
Nima will come with two parts. The first part is the sensor itself (the item you may have seen in photos). The second part is a disposable capsule that you use to take a sample of the food. We have to make certain that ALL sorts of food can work in the capsule. We keep a list of the top items people want to test, based on emails, conversations, and surveys. In the US french fries are key, but there are other items that crop up again and again, such as sauces and dressings. Our product needs to be able to handle every course possible, from soups to desserts.
Here are some photos of some recent testing.
The Food Samples, Pre-Testing
You’ll note that we’ve got a wide variety in this set of samples. There’s a gooey mass of mashed potatoes and gravy, pizza, pasta, chips, and even granola.
You can see you’re not going to lose a lot of your meal in testing. This is a pinch from the pizza (with gluten-free crust, of course) that also captures some of the cheese and toppings.
One thing people tell us about with meat is that sauces can be scary. Steaks too can often be coated in flour, which sends worry into the hearts of our friends who need gluten and wheat free foods.
Angel Hair Pasta (aka Capellini)
We know many people use two different pots at home for pasta, just to be safe. How many restaurants do this? Also, is that pasta really gluten-free? These are the questions people send into us every day.
Macaroni & Cheese
Yes, another pasta dish — here the question is also what thickeners have been put into the roux or in the cheese sauce itself.
Desserts are something important to a lot of people and sometimes gluten-free folks get tired of the suggestion to just eat fruit and would like an actual brownie or baked good. Is this truly made with a safe flour?
What Happens Next?
The photos are all pre-grind – and just show the size of the food sample you’d have to take. Please note that once you put food in the capsule, you’ll not see the ground up food, because the capsule will be closed and the sample tested and results displayed on the sensor. We, of course, have to test everything, so are taking the capsules apart after each food item to see what happens. Trust us when we say those photos aren’t as pretty, but they help us to build the best product for you.