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March 2018

CCA Position Statement: NIMA Sensor

SUMMARY:

The Canadian Celiac Association’s Professional Advisory Council (PAC) was asked to review the NIMA Sensor device as it was recently launched in Canada.

The PAC is not aware of any published independent or third party scientific data that defines the accuracy of this device.  There are potential difficulties in the measurement of the gluten content of food including:

 

At the present time, the CCA Professional Advisory Countil DOES NOT RECOMMEND that people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity use the NIMA Sensor device to determine the gluten status of a food for the reasons outlined below. We will continue to evaluate scientific information about the NIMA device as it becomes available. 

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What does this mean for Canadian consumers?

Gluten testing is a complex process.

Sampling error

One small spot of gluten on your plate can make you ill, but you cannot guess where it is on your plate. Trying to find the right sample is very difficult – you might miss the gluten by millimeters and think the entire plate is safe

Complexity of processed food

Once food is combined and processed with other ingredients, detecting gluten can be difficult due to the transformations that occur during cooking. Other ingredients in the food may interact with the gluten test giving a false report

Testing

Improper testing of foods can give false readings, either positive or negative. This can lead to consuming foods that contain gluten or avoiding safe foods. For this reason, gluten testing of foods should be done by trained experts in an accredited laboratory so that:

The Canadian Celiac Association Professional Advisory Council DOES NOT RECOMMEND that people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity use this device to determine the gluten status of a food until scientific data demonstrating its accuracy are available. Instead, it is essential that individuals ask questions about the food ingredients, preparation and serving procedures.

Tips for Eating Away from Home

Here are some questions you should ask…

 

For more information on this statement, please contact Melissa.secord@celiac.ca

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