Facilities and Equipment

Food Processing Pilot Plant 1

Food Processing Pilot Plant 1 (250 Heritage Hall)

This 900 square feet facility in Heritage Hall is managed by the Food and Nutrition Department and is designed as a model manufacturing facility focused on applying food engineering, food processing, and food preservation methodologies in a hands-on and practical use environment.The pilot plant is split into wet/dry areas and for processing cereal, powders as well as commodities with high moisture contents. Capital equipment in the facility include a batch thermal processing retort, a steam/hot water blanching system, a steam kettle, a cook-chill unit, drying, freeze drying and dehydration equipment, a single screw extruder, and walk in refrigerator/freezer.The pilot plant operation primarily supports classroom, research, and industry collaboration activities.


Food Processing Pilot Plant 2

Food Processing Pilot Plant 2 (132 Heritage Hall)

The 1,575 square feet food processing pilot plant 2 in Heritage Hall is managed by the Department and is used to conduct shelf life studies and is actively used by faculty to collaborate with industry and students.Equipment in the pilot plant include a walk-in controlled environmental chamber with data logging capacity and small processing and vacuum/gas flush packaging equipment necessary to prepare samples for shelf-life testing.

Human Performance Lab

Human Performance Lab (423 Heritage Hall)

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Foods Labs and Test Kitchens

Foods Labs & Test Kitchens (232, 238, 244 Heritage Hall)

Foods lab and test kitchenFoods lab and test kitchen

Three laboratories, each with an area of 1400 square feet are supported by a central inventory area for small equipment, glassware, chemicals and ingredients.One of these laboratories is used for set-up of experiments that use chemicals and reagents maintained in the Chemical inventory database of the university. The other two laboratories are used as test kitchens. Each of these laboratories can accommodate 24 students in single laboratory session.The laboratories are used to teach FN 240 (Food Science), FN 438 (Experimental Foods), and FN 465 (Food Product Development).

Food Science Laboratory

Food Science Laboratory (371 Heritage Hall)

FN 350 (Food Processing) is taught out of this laboratory with capacity to conduct teaching and research in areas of material characterization, rheology, chromatography and spectroscopy.This 1200 sq. feet space along with the food processing pilot-plant also serves as the teaching areas for FN 400 (Food Quality) and FN 450 (Food Engineering).


Nutrition Assessment Lab

Nutrition Assessment Lab (427 Heritage Hall)

The courses FN 312/512 utilize the Nutrition Assessment Lab. The Nutrition Assessment Lab allows Dietetic students the opportunity for experiential learning in a variety of nutritional assessment situations. The lab enables students to develop practical skills and to apply the tools and techniques used in the assessment of nutritional status such as anthropometrics, laboratory, clinical and dietary assessments. The Nutritional Assessment Lab also serves as a research lab for master level students and faculty.


Sensory Evaluation Center

The Sensory Evaluation Center (251/252 Heritage Hall)

Sensory evaluation center

The 600 square feet sensory evaluation center serves the teaching needs for FN 442 (Basic Sensory Evaluation).This facility is supported by the two test kitchens and has a set-up/serving area for the serving of test samples during consumer tests.Adjacent to the set-up/serving area are seven individual testing booths equipped with serving windows and controlled lighting. All booths have computers for ballot presentation and data collection using Compusense® software.


Classroom and Auxiliary Facility

Classroom and Auxiliary Facility (230 Heritage Hall)

The classroom seats 30 students and is used to teach FN 410 (Food Law) and other food science classes lecture sessions.This 1400 square feet classroom is also used as a meeting room for descriptive panel training and to host departmental seminars and guest speakers. In addition to the above facilities, the Department also operates the human performance and nutrition assessment laboratories that are available for teaching and research investigations for faculty and students in the BS-FST program.


Equipment

Food Science laboratory equipment in the Heritage Hall complex housing the Food and Nutrition Department is typical of that found in a Food Science teaching laboratory.Faculty and students in the Department also use the laboratories and equipment to conduct research.

Multiple units of small equipment supporting student workstations include pH meters, water activity meters, refractometers, microbalances, desiccators, microcentrifuges, stomachers, orbital shakers, vortex mixers, ultrasonic cleaning water baths, microscopes, and gel electrophoresis units.The workstations are also supported by a central glassware area managed by the laboratory technician.Larger laboratory-scale durable equipment available for teaching also include controlled environmental chambers (temperature, humidity, light, with data logging capability), circulating water baths and convection ovens.The following is the list of durable equipment specifically available in Heritage Hall to teach major studies courses in food science and food processing.

 

Cook chill insulated cooker

Cook/chill insulated cooker, Groen, 40 Gal Capacity

The cook/chill insulated cooker is used in the Food Processing and Food Quality curriculum with learning emphasis on product development, product quality, heat-transfer, and refrigeration concepts.

Refrigeration demonstrator for psychrometry

Refrigeration demonstrator for psychrometry, Lab Volt, Model: 3400

The Lab-Volt Model 3400 Refrigeration System Demonstrator is an integrated training system for demonstration and experimentation in the fundamental principles and components of refrigerant stages, refrigeration systems, and heat pumps.

Vacuum oven, Fisher Scientific, Isotemp 281 A

Vacuum oven, Fisher Scientific, Isotemp 281 A

The vacuum oven is used for drying food samples for moisture determination and for sample preparation for proximate analysis of the nutrients.The oven has a dial-in temperature of up to 500°F and maintain 30 in.Hg (762mm) vacuum to assist with low temperature drying of food/biomaterial samples.

 
Extruder, Tiger 20 Bake Type

Extruder, Tiger 20 Bake Type

The extruder is used in the Department to teach and conduct research on the extrusion of food products and for pre-processing agricultural substrates used in bioenergy applications.

Hobart Mixer, 10 Gal capacity

Hobart Mixer, 10 Gal capacity

The Hobart mixer is used for batch preparation of dough.

Texture analyzer, Instron 3342

Texture analyzer, Instron 3342

The Instron texture analyzer is used for food texture analysis studies where compression at less than 5 kN (1,100 lbf) is needed to study material behavior. The equipment has been in recent use to study the properties of cookie dough and Gouda cheese.

Muffle furnace, Barnstead 1300

Muffle furnace, Barnstead 1300

The Benchtop Muffle Furnace is used to ash food and beverage samples and is used primarily in the food analysis lab for component/nutrient estimation studies.

Accelerated solvent extractor, Dionex 200

Accelerated solvent extractor, Dionex 200

The Accelerated Solvent Extraction System (ASE®) uses the principle of solvent-based extraction of compounds/components based on affinity to the continuous phase (solvent).By using conventional liquid solvents at elevated temperatures and pressures, ASE increases the efficiency of the extraction process.The equipment is used in a variety of research and teaching settings involving mass transfer and food engineering concepts and applications.

Ice-cream freezer, Taylor Model 7754-27

Ice-cream freezer, Taylor Model 7754-27

The Taylor batch freezer is used in the Food Science major studies coursework to teach freezing as a unit operation and also in the commodity processing of dairy products. The freezer is used for the production demonstration of soft serve dessert variations.

Retort sterilization unit and can steamer, Dixie

Retort sterilization unit and can steamer, Dixie

The retort is used in the Food Microbiology, Food Processing and Food Engineering classes to address curricular learning objectives in commercial sterilization and thermal processing.The unit is registered for a working pressure of 40 psi.The can steamer is used for hermetically double seaming metal tops onto open cans that undergo thermal processing in the retort sterilization unit.

Steam blancher, Dixie M-6

Steam blancher, Dixie M-6

The steam blancher-cooler is used in material handling, and enzyme kinetics studies. This unit is also used as a pre-processing step when products are prepared for canning or freezing operations.To operate, fruit/vegetable products are spread evenly without bruising or crushing in the smooth flatbed perforated trays for uniform steam blanching.

Marinade tumbling unit, Lance

Marinade tumbling unit, Lance LT-5

The tumbling unit is used in the muscle foods processing modules of the Food Processing curriculum.The unit is also used by students on student product development and independent study projects.

Viscometer, Brookfield DV III and dial read type

Viscometer, Brookfield DV III and dial read type

Viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance to flow.The Brookfield Viscometer measures viscosity of fluids at given shear rates.The equipment has been in recent use to study the properties of water thickened with food hydrocolloids for use by patients with dysphagia.

HPLC with diode array detector, Agilent 1260

HPLC with diode array detector, Agilent 1260

The High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system is used in the food analysis curriculum for learning modules in chromatography.

Gas Chromatograph, Varian-Agilent 2100T

Gas Chromatograph, Varian-Agilent 2100T

The Gas Chromatograph is used in the Food Analysis curriculum and also for faculty-led research projects in ingredient, flavor and bioactive component characterization studies. The equipment allows for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Typical uses of GC include testing the purity of a particular substance, or separating the different components of a mixture.

Vacuum packaging unit, Turbovac SB 415

Vacuum packaging unit, Turbovac SB 415

The vacuum/gas flush packaging unit is used for lab-scale preparation of packaged foods using flexible packaging material (polyethylene/nylon) for use in shelf-life, food safety and food quality studies.

Jacketed Steam Kettle

Jacketed Steam Kettle

The jacketed steam kettle is used for rapid and uniform heating and cooling of food materials using steam as the heating medium.

Freeze dryer, Labconco

Freeze dryer, Labconco 4.5

The laboratory scale freeze dryer is used for preparation of food samples for analytical and proximate analysis studies. The unit is preferred for product and sample drying due to its minimal effect of product quality due to the low-heat drying at reduced atmospheric pressure.

Colorimeters, Minolta; Hunter EZ Colorflex

The colorimeter uses a light source of a particular wavelength to determine the concentration of a particular substance, or the hue and saturation metrics associated with the color spectrum. The instrument in used in the curriculum to measure the color associated with food and beverage products and the changes in color associated with the application of various processing operations.

The equipment available in the labs supporting studies in nutrition are listed below:

Nutrition Assessment Lab (427 Heritage Hall)

  1. Skin fold calipers (Beta, Model: 68902).
  2. Cholestech L-D-X system (Alere) for lipid profile measurement.
  3. Blood hemoglobin photometer (Stanbio lab Model: 3008-0031-6801).
  4. Bone sonometer (Sahara, SN: 03955) for heel bone density measurement.
  5. Body composition analyzer (Tanita, Model: TBF-215) for fat, impedence measurements in BMI calculations and to estimate basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  6. Kits for measurement of blood glucose (Roche, Model: AccuChek Aviva), blood coagulation (CoaguChek System, Roche, SN: MD085187), lead levels in blood (Mafellan Diagnostics, SN: WLC06548), blood clotting (Alere, Model: InRatio 2), and blood lactate (Accutrend Lactate, Roche, SN: 00128736-394).
  7. Automatic blood pressure monitor (The Medicine Shoppe, Model: 04-203-001).
  8. Semi-automatic blood pressure monitor (The Medicine Shoppe, Model: 1100MS).
  9. Digital and manual aneroid Sphygmomanometers for blood pressure measurements.

Human Performance Lab (423 Heritage Hall)

  • Bone densitometer (Lunar/GE, Model: DPX – IQ) with capacity for dual energy x-ray absorptionmetry (DEXA) scans to measure bone mineral density and body composition.
  • V-Max Metabolic Cart (Viasys Health Care) for indirect calorimetry via a ventilated hood and pulmonary function testing; VO2 Max testing via a treadmill study.
  • Heart Rate Monitors (Polar, Models: M61, FS3).