A food grade environment for the testing, validation and improvement of existing and novel materials as foods including nutritional content, advanced compositional analysis, shelf life and consumer preferences.

Food Production Lines:

Food grade processing and laboratories conforming to BRC standards

  • Meat – Goods reception with delivery yard, proof of concept scale processing facilities (90m2) and cold storage for meat product raw materials.
  • Dairy and liquids – Reception (130m2; capacity: 1 - 500 litre batches), thermal processing and separation of raw milk feedstocks allowing pilot scale pasteurisation, filtration and other treatments in batches (up to 1000 litres) and continuous mode (5000 litres/day). Cheese, cultured milk products, butter and frozen product manufacturing (capacity: 1 - 100 litre batches) and replicated samples to study a range of novel products simultaneously.
  • Grains and pulses – Processing and formulation of raw goods, on-site baking including preparation of functional food materials for consumer testing.

Demonstration Kitchen and Sensory Booths:

  • Demonstration Kitchen – Full audio-visual support within a commercial kitchen will allow for real-time remote viewing in addition to presentation and recording capabilities for novel product development and preparation.
  • Sensory Analysis – Six booths for trained taste panels, served by a dedicated kitchen and incorporating computerised response system to allow real-time responses to organoleptic and sensory properties of novel foods (taste, texture, appearance, etc.) to be collated.

Novel and Functional Foods:

  • Foods and Bioprocessing - The food production lines and processing capability link with the food grade Downstream Processing and Fermentation Units within the Biorefining Centre, allowing food materials to be easily transported between each zone.
  • Foods and health claims - The Future Food Centre will be integrated with the activity of the Aberystwyth University Well-being and Health Assessment Research Unit (WARU) and will be well placed to develop evidence for health claims relating to novel foods.

Laboratory Analysis: composition, shelf life and safety

  • Food quality and composition – Access to excellent facilities in the Advanced Analysis Centre to determine food composition using standard and bespoke tests (e.g. essential fatty acids, nutraceuticals, micronutrients, chemical determinants of bioactivity, flavour and colour development).
  • Food characteristics - a fully equipped laboratory for measuring the physical characteristics of liquid and solid foods (e.g. meat texture).
  • Food storage – replicated thermal environment modulation cabinets to study a range of temperature and humidity effects on food maturation processes.
  • Retail display cabinets - to study effects of shelf life and types of packaging on food quality (e.g. colour testing, food stability).
  • Food Safety – a designated microbiology laboratory to test and measure microbial spoilage.