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Food Marble’s AIRE: Personal digestive tracker

Posted in Technology

Food Marble’s AIRE is a breath test device. It’s small but powerful. Together with its app it can help you find the foods that are most compatible with your digestive system.

According to the team, “When food isn’t digested fully, a lot of it will turn into gas in the gut. Many people cannot efficiently handle this gas, so it builds up causing bloating, pain and even diarrhea or constipation.

Fortunately, you can measure how much of this gas is being generated, since some of it will pass from the gut into the bloodstream. The gas then travels in your blood and when it reaches the lungs, it exits on your breath, where it can be measured.

Food Marble's AIRE

Food Marble’s AIRE :

The technology for doing this is used in the top digestive health clinics and gastroenterology departments worldwide. We’ve adapted the technology, making it smaller, portable and more affordable for personal, everyday use.”

FoodMarble’s Aire is a breathalyzer-like device that you blow into for a few seconds. It captures the presence of gas related to fermented foods — or those that aren’t digesting well in your large intestine — on your breath. Then it gives you a score of 1 to 100, rating your digestive comfort at the moment.

If you take a test every 15 minutes or so, you can track the period of maximum discomfort, and then through a process of elimination you can figure out what makes you feel bad, said Aonghus Shortt, CEO of Dublin-based FoodMarble.

James Brief, a gastroenterologist and cofounder of FoodMarble, said that it isn’t usually that easy. Food sensitivities typically include glucose, fructose, lactose, and sorbitol. Brief has to go through lots of appointments with his patients to figure out what might have made them sick, as many as a couple of days after they ate something. The usual tests, such as blood tests or a colonoscopy, don’t catch digestive problems. Instead, the diagnosis involves detailed food studies with dietitians.

“Some people have symptoms that impact daily life, like irritable bowel syndrome,” said Shortt. “They are intolerant of certain foods, but may not know which ones. We want to make this measurable.”

FoodMarble conducted a user trial with the device, but the results haven’t yet been published in a peer-reviewed publication. The researchers also have to compare the device’s accuracy against the existing hydrogen breathalyzer devices used in hospitals.

The Aire devices will be much more affordable, they’ll cost $99.

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