Keychain detector catches food allergens before it’s too late

More than 50 million Americans display food reactions. Each year there are an estimated over 20,000 food allergy-related emergency department visits in the United States, including 90,000 cases of anaphylaxis. The best way to manage food allergy is to avoid products that contain allergen. But avoidance isn’t always possible because food can be mislabeled or cross-contaminated.
Meet iEAT (integrated Exogenous Antigen Testing) a $40 portable allergen-detection system that consists of a disposable kit to extract allergens from food and an electronic keychain analyzer for allergen detection. In less than 10 minutes, the iEAT completes food analyses and sends the results to a cloud server. The prototype was used to detect five model allergens from wheat, peanuts, hazelnuts, milk and egg white. Testing on food items from local restaurants revealed unexpected findings such as gluten in “gluten-free” dishes and egg protein in beer. The technology is being expanded to detect additional allergens, pesticides and environmental hormones.


Integrated Magneto-Chemical Sensor For On-Site Food Allergen Detection
Lin HY, Huang CH, Park J, Pathania D, Castro CM, Fasano A, Weissleder R, Lee H
ACS Nano, 2017;11(10):10062-10069

TV Coverage – CSB is on CBS News

Researchers Working On Portable, Life-Saving Food Allergen DetectorCBS Pittsburgh
Food Allergy Detection Device Could Remove Danger Of Dining OutCBS Boston

Press Coverage

Food allergy lab fits on your keychainNIH/NIBIB
Pocket-Sized Device Provides Food Allergy Sufferers with Life-Saving Tableside Lab Results – Mass General Research Institute blog
Point-of-Use Food Allergen Detector on the HorizonJAMA

Keychain detector could catch food allergens before it’s too late – EurekAlert
Study: $40 keychain could accurately detect food allergens – MobiHealthNews
This Keychain Could Change the Lives of People With Food Allergies –
Food Allergies? Tiny Device Lets You Check Dish In MinutesCBS Miami
New device that fits on a key chain can accurately test for allergens –
Detecting food allergens with a keychain reader – Nanowerk
Keychain device warns of dangerous allergens in your food before you eat it – Digital Trends
Keychain Could Help Detect Food Allergens – R & D Magazine
Researchers Develop Portable Food Allergen-Detection System – Monthly Prescribing Reference
Research round-up: Allergen detection and detecting spoilage –
Magneto-chemical sensor detects allergens in food –
Save Your Life with $40 Keychain-Size Detector – Alerts you of Allergens in Food – Time of Columnist
Harvard’s $40 keychain detector can test food for allergens within minutes – International Business Times UK
Researchers Working On Portable, Life-Saving Food Allergen Detector – Doximity