Back in October I wrote in this post about some researchers from Hong Kong who were in the process of inventing a sensor which works with your mobile phone to test for histamine in foods. There are a handful of other researchers around the world who are also working on ways to test for histamine in foods, but the Hong Kong group seemed to be the closest to development so I contacted them to find out more.
They had principally built the device for use in the food industry, so that supermarkets and food manufacturers could test their foods for spoilage, but when I told them about MCAS and HIT patients they were extremely interested in our plight – they didn’t know there was a patient population out there who were desperate for a way to test for histamine in foods and had never considered selling the device to the general public.
They were still working on a prototype but asked me if I’d like to test it and give them feedback. Is the Pop Catholic?! I said I’d love to, but by Christmas had heard nothing from them. Last week I emailed the team again who replied straight away to apologise for not being in touch. Apparently they had had some issues with the chip inside the sensor device, and one of the researchers was currently in Taiwan liaising with another company to produce the chip. He did, however, send me a video of the device and asked for my comments. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say as obviously there is the competition to think about, but the device looks straight forward enough to use if a little fiddly. It isn’t the case of sticking a probe into a food item and taking a reading which is what I’d kind’ve had in mind, but once I’d got my head around the fact it will be more complex than that I still think it’s going to be usable by the public, at least in a home environment if not in restaurants or on the run. They are hoping to streamline some parts of the process before it becomes generally available.
One of the researchers is coming over to London in February and asked for a meeting with me, but unfortunately he’ll be in London and I’m not sure I feel up to travelling 600 miles just to have a half hour meeting I was hoping one of my good friends who lives nearer the capital would be able to attend instead, but unfortunately she’s really unwell at the moment and doesn’t feel up to it. It feels like a hugely wasted opportunity 😦
Obviously I’ll keep you all informed of developments. Any chance to test for histamine in foods would be a massive bonus in mine, and many of your, lives. The first thing I’d look at is tomatoes………….how I miss them……..closely followed by tea!