Department of Food Science and Nutrition
The Department of Food Science and Nutrition currently has The Culinology ® Laboratory, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one Quality Assurance Laboratory, one Sensory Science Laboratory, one Food Science Microbiology/Chemistry Laboratory, one Dairy Processing Laboratory, one Food Processing Laboratory, and one Food Research Pilot Plant used by the Department for course offerings. The Culinology ® Laboratory, funded by the USDA, is equipped with $190,000 worth of state-of-the-art lab equipment. Further, the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology allocated a match of up to $190,000 for the renovation of the laboratory room.
All the culinary classes, sensory science, and quality assurance classes use these facilities for lecture and laboratory space. Basic and advanced foods classes, sensory preparation, and product development are some of the classes held in this facility. A small Quality Assurance laboratory (adjoining The Culinology ® Laboratory, funded by the USDA) was also created using these same grant funding sources. This laboratory will be used to color, texture, sizing and other basic testing of food stuffs. The Sensory Science Laboratory is located next to the Quality Assurance laboratory and allows students to test panelist on a wide variety of sensory tests such as difference or consumer testing.
The Microbiology/Chemistry Laboratory is in a different location than the other laboratories and allows students to test micro-organisms and chemicals used by the Food Industry but intentionally kept separate for safety purposes. Pathogenic micro-organisms such as Salmonella spp. or Stapylococcus aureus and potentially harmful chemicals can be tested here without possibility of cross-contamination to foodstuffs. This laboratory underwent a $200,000 remodel in 2002-2004 and contains equipment such as a gas chromatograph and a high performance liquid chromatograph.
The Food Processing and Dairy Processing Laboratories are in another location. These laboratories are used by food and dairy science students for food and dairy processing and engineering laboratories. Products are made in large batches to simulate actual process conditions in industry so the students have an opportunity to practice what they have learned in the classroom. Since 1995, the Food Processing Laboratory has had over $800,000.00 in equipment and space improvements while the Dairy Processing Laboratory had more than $200,000 in equipment improvements since 2005.
The Center for Food Science and Nutrition Research Pilot Plant is the newest addition to the growing arsenal of facilities and equipment available to the Department of Food Science and Nutrition. This facility is designed to integrate undergraduate and graduate education with food processing projects from the private sector. The most recent addition to this facility is a twin-screw extruder that will be used to explore the ever increasing world of extruded foods, a batch cabinet dehydrator for experimenting with various dried food technologies, and a horizontal mixer for efficient mixing of batched products. The remodel of this facility and the new equipment mean that more than $300,000 has been invested in this new facility to date.
Classrooms used by the Department are all “Smart Classrooms”. This means that they are equipped to handled audio, video, and computer inputs for teaching. This allows instructors to better prepare and teach concepts in an efficient and effective way. The software and other inputs are constantly being updated so remains updated and interesting.