Nima Sensor Toolkit for Dietitians and Nutritionists

We’ve built a toolkit to provide more detailed information about Nima and so that you can help your patients and clients have peace of mind at mealtime with Nima.

How to use Nima

Co-founder Scott Sundvor explains how to use Nima to test your food, step-by-step.


How to Run a Test with Nima

Nima Dietitian's Toolkiit: How to Run a Test with Nima. Image runs through five steps. Step 1: Put a pea-sized sample of liquid or solid food in a one time use capsules. Step 2: Screw on the cap until you feel it pop, the green ring disappears, and the cap is fully flush with the capsule body. Step 3: Put the capsule into the device. It should click into place. Step 4: Click to turn on and then click once more to start the test. You will see either a smile (gluten-free) or a gluten found symbol. Step 5: Pair your sensor with the Nima app. Use app to see test results and share yours with the community.

Suggestions for Safer Dining with Nima

Nima should be used as an extra piece of information along with your patient’s own questions, interactions, and experiences. Here’s some ideas on how to incorporate Nima in daily life.

  • When dining out with Nima, people should be prepared to think of it as part of their toolkit. An overview of the process shows asking questions, possibly testing before an item is ordered, and how to sample.
  • Free-from people should be prepared to ask questions about food preparation. Nima has developed a guide that looks at different parts of a kitchen which applies to eating out or a meal prepared by a friend or family member. Not everyone understands how trace the amounts are that can trigger a reaction. Being prepared with solid questions helps to ascertain the practices of a particular spot.
  • If people need a little more help with what to say, we’ve shared conversation starters based on the Nima team’s and community’s own experiences. We also provide some follow ups in the event that gluten is found in a restaurant or a friend or family member’s house.
  • When it comes to testing packaged foods, there are different considerations. Before testing, recommend to your patients that they prepare, read, and review Nima’s advice for packaged foods. If gluten is found, we’ve put together another list of conversation starters and things to consider.
  • We also have a complete set of handy video guides for using Nima, in our Testing Tips video series.
  • Plus, people using the Nima app can share their results and see results from others in the community. Each restaurant is given a Nima score that reflects the percentage of gluten-free items that are truly gluten-free and community reports on the availability of gluten-free food and level of staff accommodation. This is a great tool to help your patients navigate dining out and provides insight to you on where they may be dining, to help them determine the best questions to ask and what foods to test.

Tips & Tricks for Specific Foods Using Nima

Each and every food item has its own specific bit of advice. We’ve put together a list of tips for specific foods from pizza to cake, and what part to sample and test.

Nima Dietitian's Toolkit: Testing Tips. Appetizers: Salad dressing - just a few drops of dressing will provide a result. Order it on the side for testing. Salad - wipe lettuce or other food around your plate before testing. Soup - for soups, the liquid is good enough for testing. Finger foods - for finger foods, make certain your hands are clean first. Main Courses: Pizza - test crust and toppings - both can be contaminated. Other - test places that may have have shared surfaces like grill marks. Sandwich - test cut marks. Other - taking small samples from around the plate works. Other - seemingly innocent veggies can be produced on a shared space, so take samples of these too. Other - if your meat has a sauce, test both. Desserts: with sweet treats, don't just grab the cake but the toppings too. Make sure to check pie fillings as well as crusts.

Things to Know about Using Nima

  • While it’s obvious when something should come back with a gluten-found symbol, we find the vast majority of the time, our community members are ordering food and expecting it to be gluten-free. They are savvy and asking the right questions in advance. A gluten-found result can be due to several reasons from an incorrect ingredient to contamination from a shared kitchen.
  • Some foods can be trickier to sample than others, and there are a few foods that Nima cannot test. These include foods with hydrolyzed gluten such as soy sauce, beer, alcohol, and pure xantham or guar gum. We’ve written an explanation as to the science behind the hydrolyzed gluten. It boils down to the changes in the protein in the fermentation process itself, which make it difficult to detect.
  • Hot spots are something your clients are going to ask about — we’ve done some initial research on this. Nima will catch items cooked in a shared fryer or pasta cooked in the same water. Otherwise, it will depend on the sample someone takes when they test.

Nima Survey Data: What’s it like to be a gluten-free consumer?

You probably have a lot of customers who are gluten-free or free-from other ingredients. We’ve pulled together some highlights for you in a few blog posts about gluten-free living that may be interesting to you.

  • First off, who is avoiding gluten? It’s not just Celiacs. People avoid it for many reasons from general wellness to other health issues. This survey data also covers the emotions
    of those who avoid gluten. Tip: you’ll need to help instill some confidence in dining out and self advocacy.
  • Is it gluten free? What people are most interested in testing. The foods that most strike terror are soups and sauces — and surprisingly, tortilla chips.
  • Are your patients like everyone else? We surveyed a ton of gluten-free folks in partnership with GlutenDude. 9% of people said they got sick from unintended gluten exposure once a week or more frequently. The reality is that almost no-one knows what
    level of gluten exposure makes them sick. Check out the full results.

Nima Data

We’ve done a lot of restaurant testing — in fact, nearly a third of restaurant food ordered as gluten-free shows trace amounts of gluten.

Nima in the future: Milk & Peanut Sensors Coming

In the future, Nima will be expanded to other items. Peanut, milk, and tree nuts are next on the list. We’re sharing some information we’ve gathered on milk and peanut avoiding folks, including the frequency of unintended exposure, foods they’d like to test, and symptoms.

Communicating food needs with Nimoji

One thing the Nima team learned in the past few years is that people really need a way to communicate what they can eat and how they feel about it. Nimoji brings these dietary needs to life in an iOS sticker app with nearly 50 emoji to describe the day-to-day meal needs whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian or intolerant to certain foods. When your patients are struggling to find the right words, Nimoji can offer a circle slash for the top eight allergens, or share the success of safe dining.

Full Nima Toolkit: Downloads

We’ve put our brochure, each of the infographics shown on this page, and our video into a Dropbox folder for you.

You can download the contents of this for use in communicating with your clients.

Become a Nima Affiliate

If you want a way to get Nima into your client or patient’s hands, we’d love to have you as an affiliate!