Working with a Dartmouth College expert, entrepreneur Abigail Barnes has devised a plan for a sort of mood ring type device for detecting food allergens.

The device, called an Allergy Amulet, is in the development stage, but Barnes and her business partner, Joseph BelBruno, a Dartmouth College chemistry professor and sensor technology expert. The Allergy Amulet idea has been named as a finalist in the Boston-based MassChallenge startup accelerator.

A beta prototype for the device is planned if investment funds can be secured to begin building one.

The Allergy Amulet would change a lot of things for people.

The Allergy Amulet works as a sort of cross between a diabetic’s blood test system and a mood ring. The amulet could be worn on a necklace, embedded in a ring, or carried on a keychain or zipper. Small, disposable test strips can be touched to the food and then “read” by the amulet to test for contamination by known allergens.

This would not replace the usual caution and careful questioning that food allergy sufferers usually take, says Barnes, but it would add a lot of peace of mind by confirming that what the menu says about the food is correct.

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