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Smartphone app could help people with food allergies eat safer

In today's society, up to 15 million Americans are living with food allergies, while this allergy affects one in every 13 children under the age of 18, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. While these and other allergies can be regulated with EpiPens or by avoiding certain foods altogether, it can be hard for people with food allergies to go to eat out. 

However, the worry of eating something with a trigger food in it may soon be avoidable thanks to a smartphone app and specialized cradle that is able to look for specific ingredients. Fox News reports researchers from the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, created the handheld biosensor that uses a series of lenses and filters to detect toxins, bacteria and even allergens in food by simply holding it over the item in question. 

While the project is still in the experimental phase, it could be a valuable tool for people in the coming years. This is just the latest in tools to track allergies, as the MyAllergyTest, an at-home screening system that can test for up to 10 common allergies, was FDA approved in June. 

The test checks for things like Bermuda grass, cat, cedar, house dust mites, ragweed and other allergens. While food allergies can be harder to track, those with environmental or pet allergies can breathe easier at home by investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

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