Consumers & Manufacturers: What you must know about gluten test results using the Nima SensorTricia Thompson
In Honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free Watchdog is writing a series of articles (the goal is one per day during the month of May) related to the gluten-free diet–currently the ONLY treatment for celiac disease.
At Gluten Free Watchdog we have been testing a wide variety of products with the Nima Sensor. It is very difficult to put results into the proper context due to the lack of a published validation report on this device.
Four emerging themes from the approximately 50 products tested:
- Five products testing low gluten (four labeled gluten-free, including one certified gluten-free by GFCO) with the Nima tested below the limit of detection of 1 part per million when tested with the R5 ELISA.
- Comment: These results may be true false positives (meaning there is no gluten in the sample) OR this device may have an exceedingly low limit of detection (i.e., close to zero).
- Barley grain and barley flour tested low gluten.
- Comment: The antibody used in this device may have a low cross-reactivity to barley.
- Recalled gluten-free Cheerios, regular Quaker Oats, and gluten-free rice crackers placed on top of wheat-based bread crumbs all tested smile.
- Comment: The sampling methodology for this device (i.e., testing a pea-size amount from a non-homogenized sample) is not sufficient to find gluten in samples when gluten is not evenly distributed.
- Diluting mustard containing wheat flour with water (as recommended by the Nima website for brightly/intensely colored foods) changed the test result from high gluten to low gluten.
- Comment: Diluting a sample with water decreases the part per million of gluten in the sample.
The table of test results is available publicly at https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/product/position-statement-on-the-nima-sensor-report-4/588
Tomorrow’s Post: Thank you to the Gluten Free Watchdog community