The iTube platform, left, uses colorimetric assays and a smartphone-based digital reader to detect potential food allergen. A screen capture of the iTube App appears on the right. UCLA hide caption toggle caption UCLA The Salt Smartphone Apps Offer Few Shortcuts For Those With Food Allergies December 26, 2012 Plenty of apps promise to make life easier for people with life-threatening allergies to nuts and other foods. One scientist even invented a smartphone-based lab to detect potential allergens. But asking "Does that have nuts in it?" may actually be a better and safer option than pulling out your phone.