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Got Bad Gas? This Gadget Can Tell You Why

Maybe it's not the best Christmas gift, but it definitely sounds like a fun scientific experiment.

Thanks to the FoodMarble Aire, you can take a breath test that will tell you--or possibly gassy family members and friends--what in their diet forces others to keep a safe distance away from the stinky proof of digestive troubles.

Credit: FoodMarble

(Image credit: FoodMarble)

So how does it work? For $99, you get a pocket-sized Aire breath testing device from the startup. First, you breathe into it for a baseline reading. The next, likely less pleasant step, is that you have to digest a sachet of powder mixed with water. Then wait.

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The solution you swallowed ferments in the large intestine, travels through the blood stream to the lungs, and what you breathe out is measured by the Aire device.

Breathe into the device every 15 minutes for three hours, and you'll be able to see what your body isn't digesting properly and FoodMarble will send you a personal profile showing foods that your digestive system doesn't respond well to, based on measures of chemicals that certain foods contain, like fructose in fruit and lactose in dairy.

What could really make the system worth buying is that FoodMarble will work up a custom diet for you based on what you learn about your digestive system. And if you use the app daily and commit to logging your meals, symptoms, stress and sleep, you'll get an even better idea of how certain foods affect your gut over time.

You can pre-order the FoodMarble device now, for yourself or a loved one, for $99, at, but those gadgets won't be shipped until August. Once pre-orders run out, the retail price will jump to $149.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech.