Gluten Content Test: Counter Culture Coffee Forty Six Coffee Beans + Nima Sensor False Positive

After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2016, I wrote Counter Culture Coffee to see if the coffee beans I get from them (Counter Culture Coffee Forty Six) are gluten free.

My email to them:

“I have recently been diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Because of that, I need to eliminate gluten from my diet.  Does counter culture coffee contain gluten or any gluten containing additives?  I can’t imagine you use gluten anywhere in the process, but I wanted to double check.”

Their reply back (dated 3/8/16): “Thanks for contacting us! Coffee is naturally gluten-free and we do not add anything in the process of roasting, so you should be good to go!”

Note: This is their reply to me personally, not an official position, contact Counter Culture Coffee with questions and verify currentness of information.

Fast forward to 11/2017.  I decided to double check this with my Nima Sensor

Result: Gluten Found!  What the what?!!!!  This result baffled me and sent me into a spiral wondering – Just what can I trust???  Single ingredient item from (what I consider) to be a high end coffee roaster, that has told me their process includes not gluten ingredients.  After some digging, I realized that this was false positive result.  Nima has issues with intensely colored things.  See link below.

I decided to perform a GlutenTox test on this coffee. GlutenTox allows you to choose between 5 and 20 PPM.  I performed this test at the 5 PPM (parts per million) sensitivity level.

I used a cooled down shot of espresso to complete this test.

The bag of coffee, two glutentox solutions and test strip

Close up of the results

The test stick has two lines, the one on the left is the blue control line and should always become visible.  There is another possible line just to the right of that, that one is red.  That becomes visible if gluten is detected at the selected concentration.  As you can see in this photo only the control line is visible.  According to this result the sample I tested has a lower than 5 PPM gluten content.

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More About GlutenTox



Each GlutenTox test comes with single use pipettes, extract solution, dilution solution, sample scoop and a test stick.  The testing process is relatively simple and the instructions are clearly written.  This test gives you some flexibility as you have the choice between testing at 20 PPM (parts per million) or 5 PPM.  Under 20 PPM allows manufacturers to label certain foods as gluten free.

GlutenTox Home is a quick, user-friendly test to detect gluten in foods, drinks, cosmetics, or any other substance. It’s useful for anyone who suffers from celiac disease, or keeps a gluten-free diet for any reason.

  • Adjustable sensitivity: test for 20ppm or 5ppm of gluten depending on your specific needs
  • No special equipment required; everything but the test material is included in the kit
  • Safe, non-toxic, and easy to use
  • Quick response: a reliable answer in less than 20 minutes
  • The included G12 antibody recognizes the toxic fraction of gluten in wheat, barley, rye, and even oat.

Kits contain everything you need to test for gluten in foods, drinks or cosmetics. Kits are available in 2-, 5- and 10-test quantities.

Price varies based on how many kits you buy

Visit GlutenTox


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A note about gluten content tests: These are performed in non-lab environments with small samples.  Processes and ingredients change over time.  Tests found on Gluten Free Finds should not be considered authoritative in nature.  Always check product labels and consult manufacturers for additional information on ingredients and processes.