Irish firm FoodMarble scoops Red Dot design award

Digestive health startup wins product innovation award for Aire 2 breath monitor

The FoodMarble Aire 2 device pictured alongside the FoodMarble app and an apple pie

Irish digital digestive health start-up FoodMarble has been named one of the recipients of this year’s Red Dot product design awards, for its breath analysis device Aire 2.

The awards are considered a mark of quality and are awarded to the best products that show outstanding design.

The Aire 2 uses sensors to measure the level of gases in your breath to help pinpoint what foods are causing you digestive discomfort, monitoring both hydrogen and methane. The latter is produced by two-thirds of people and can cause discomfort when it builds up rapidly in the gut. The Aire 2 allows users to take regular readings and see how the food they consume, along with other factors such as stress and sleep, is affecting their gut.

‘Real-time feedback’

The jury described the device as a “fascinatingly simple way to gain insights into the health of the gut”. Users can measure levels with a single breath, giving them real-time feedback and the device itself is compact and easy to carry.


The awards will officially take place at a ceremony in Essen, Germany, on Monday, which cofounder and chief technology officer Peter Harte will attend with members of the FoodMarble team to collect the award.

“We’re looking forward to hanging it up in the office beside the patent and the research papers,” he said. “They worked really hard over the 2019 to 2022 period and still are working very hard to keep refining the product.”

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Aire 2 is the company’s consumer-focused device, based on second-generation hardware, and accounts for almost 40 per cent of its total sales to date. The first generation of devices measured only hydrogen, but based on feedback from medical professionals, FoodMarble added sensors for methane measurement. Since the launch of Aire 2, there has been a “step change in interest” he said.

But the company has its sights on bigger markets too. “We also have a medical device that’s available in the US,” said Mr Harte. “A big focus for us is scaling up our US healthcare market — that is the main focus over the next year to 18 months.”

Breaking even

That may require a new funding round to support growth, but Mr Harte said the company is also approaching profitability and very close to breaking even.

“In a sense, we don’t absolutely need it, but to do things at the speed that we want to, we would require some capital.”

The company’s previous backers have included Business Venture Partners, SOSV, Breed Reply, Delta Partners and Enterprise Ireland.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist