Innovation

Allergy Amulet: A Life-Saver for People With Allergies?

Food allergy is an immune system reaction that can occur when you consume certain foods. It is a highly unpleasant and dangerous way in which your body reacts to the particular food. Symptoms of this include digestive problems, hives, and even swollen airways and the more severe cases can be life-threatening. Food allergens are the substances that cause this. They are typically naturally-occurring proteins in foods or derivatives of them that cause abnormal immune responses. Commonly seen food allergens include eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, raw fruits and vegetables, sesame seeds, etc.

Allergy amulet

Since the number of people with food allergies and intolerances is increasing, it becomes essential for us to ensure that the food that we consume does not contain any such allergens. That is where the Allergy Amulet comes into the picture. This is a unique technology that allows you to test your foods for potential allergens using a disposable strip. It is potable hassle-free and at the same time easy to use.

The science behind it

It uses molecular detection sensors and Molecularly Imprinted Polymers technology to carry out this process. Molecularly Imprinted Polymers or MIPs are synthetic cavities that bind to target molecules matching them in shape, size, and other molecular properties. They cast such MIPs as thin films onto circuit boards and hence create sensors. These sensors are then used to carry out the allergen detection. Therefore, each sensor contains trillions or such MIPs which bind onto the target allergen molecule if present. This, in turn, causes a change in the resistance, and hence the electrical chip sends back a signal which alerts the user within seconds as to whether the food contains allergens or not.

How does the allergy amulet work?

It comes as a two-piece kit: a disposable test strip and a reader. The user has to insert the test strip into various areas of the food and then slide the strip into its case for proper application of the food material over the strip. Then the chip at the other end of the case is plugged into the reader and the results are displayed on the reader in seconds. It is as simple as that! It also comes with an accompanying app that enables users to store their previous results and data.

A fair share of the foodborne allergy-related fatalities occurs in restaurants. This allergy amulet will surely be instrumental in ensuring the safety of its users in such a dire circumstance.

Written By,

Nived Nair

Student, NIFTEM

Wanna read about more such innovations in the food sector? You can check out this article on the Gatorade Sweat Patch which is designed for athletes.

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