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Food Science & Technology : Research Programs: Athens Research

Research Facilities

A wide variety of facilities are available at the UGA Athens campus for research, student teaching, and industry projects. This includes over 20,000 square feet of food processing laboratories, including equipment for drying, freezing, evaporation, freeze drying, retorting, pasteurization, particle reduction, smoking, marination, meat processing, fermentation, and dairy processing. In addition, equipment is available for advanced processing including high-pressure processing, supercritical fluid extraction, radiant energy processing, extrusion, and impingement drying/heating.

Laboratories include physical properties testing with instrumentation for rheological characterization, light scattering, particle sizing, color measurement, thermal properties measurement, zeta potential, water activity determination, water binding properties, and headspace analysis.

More Information about Laboratories

The department also has a food preparation kitchen equipped with gas and electric stoves, humidity controlled baking ovens, microwaves, and refrigerated and frozen storage. In addition, there are facilities for consumer and trained panel sensory tests, attribute testing, difference testing, and consumer preference.

The department also houses two biohazard labs for pathogen challenge studies in a contained processing environment.

The main campus for the Department of Food Science and Technology is at the University of Georgia in Athens. In addition, many of our faculty, staff, and students are associated with research units dedicated to specific aspects of food science:


Food Process Research and Development Laboratory

The Food Process Research and Development Laboratory (FPRDL) in Athens, Georgia provides facilities and expertise for developing new products and for testing new processing technologies. Established in 1995 to promote innovation and competitiveness in the food industry, our labs have been instrumental in developing processing and product innovations by working with the food and allied industries through cooperative university-industry research. The FPRDL is located in a 1,200 square foot facility across Cedar Street from the Food Science Building and houses an additional processing area as well as sensory and focus group testing facilities. The FPRDL director is Dr. William Kerr. The Food Science faculty with expertise in processing and product development as well as sensory and analytical techniques also make good use of the facilities with their industry partners.

Lipid Biotechnology, Chemistry, and Phytochemicals Laboratory

The LBCAP team manages active research regarding characterization, stability, encapsulation, and food applications relevant to restructured lipids. We are also proficient isolating, characterizing, and assessing antioxidant capacities of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Casimir Akoh directs the lab. For more info, see LBCAP Laboratory.

Pilot Plants

Our pilot plants are designed to simulate small scale, industrial food processing and research facilities. Currently, pilot plants for dehydrated products, thermally processed shelf stable and refrigerated products, processed meats, beverage concentration and heat processing are available. The processed meat laboratory on the first floor of the Food Science Building is USDA-FSIS approved. The manager is Danny Morris.

Laboratory Policy and Reservation

The department has policies that must be followed by users of the pilot plant and sensory facilities in the Food Science Building and the Food Processing and Research Development Laboratory (FPDRL).  See the table below for notices explaining these policies for each building and new reservation forms for using the facilities in the buildings.

Lab Policy and Reservation Forms (PDF)
The forms below contain instructions for scheduling use of the lab, training required, instructions for cleaning and sanitizing, and limitations of use.
FPRDL Use Requirements

FPDRL Reservation Form

Food Science Lab Use Requirements Food Science Lab Reservation Form

These policies address scheduling the facilities, training needs, and cleaning and sanitizing routines for the facilities.

Danny Morris is the responsible person for the pilot plant facilities in the Food Science Building.

Carl Ruiz is the responsible person for the pilot plant and sensory facilities in FPDRL.

The Nutraceutical and Functional Foods Initiative supports research to isolate and characterize food constituents that provide important health benefits.

Centrifuge Policy

Centrifuges are located in room 304 of the Food Science Building and are available to Food Science and Technology Personnel. Persons outside the department must obtain special permission to use this equipment.

Centrifuge training must be completed prior to use. The following training resources address safe and proper usage of FST centrifuges and are prerequisites for receiving practical training.

Once the above trainings are complete, contact Vickie Wentzel to schedule practical training.

Centrifuge Quiz - Pre-requisite to Practical Training

Department Scheduled Practical Training Sign-up


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University of Georgia (UGA) College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)