The Nutrition and Food Science facilities are comprised of the Nutritional Biochemistry, the Microbiology, and the Physical Analysis laboratories. These facilities are within the School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences in The Center for Food Science and Technology.
The Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory
The Nutritional Biochemistry laboratory is used for nutrient analysis, particularly protein, fiber, minerals, and oil/fat. It is equipped for research in lipid (fat) metabolism, specifically blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins. Through its research operations, the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory is used to determine chemical elements and nutrient compounds in food and their reaction within biological systems. It also used in assessing the bioavailability of nutrients in food. Equipment includes a Fat Extractor and Protein Digester. The Fat Extractor is used to determine the amount of oil contained in a food sample. Determining the amount of oil helps researchers make decisions concerning diets for both humans and animals. The Protein Digester determines the amount of protein, fat, moisture, and mineral in a sample. It takes the sample through the processes of digestion, distillation, and titration to determine the nitrogen content.
The Food Science / Microbiology Laboratory
In part, the Microbiology Laboratory is used for conducting research on food-borne, pathogenic microorganisms such as salmonella and campylobacter. The laboratory is equipped with Auto Plate 4000 and CO2 Incubator. The Auto Plate 4000 is a microprocessor-controlled dispenser used for bacterial numeration, anti-microbial susceptibility testing, and mutafenicity assays. It deposits a liquid sample in a spiral pattern onto the surface of a rotating agar plate creating a three-log dilution effect. The CO2 Incubator is used to incubate micro-aerophilic (<5% O2, 10% CO2, 85% N2) micro-organisms such as campylobacter.
The Physical Analysis Laboratory
The Physical Analysis Laboratory is used to study physical properties of food such as texture and structure. The laboratory is equipped with Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), Microtome, and Texture Analyzer. The TEM JEOL – 100 IIX is an instrument that uses a beam of highly energetic electrons to examine objects on a very fine scale. The Microtome NOVA is used for ultra-thin sectioning of samples. The Texture Analyzer TA-XT2 quantifies the texture of foods. It also measures a variety of textural parameters such as hardness, adhesiveness, and spreadability. The Texture Analyzer is used in conjunction with "Texture Expert," a software application that acquires, displays, and analyzes data.