Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute

What We Do

Our mission is to fuel economic growth in the region and beyond by enabling food and beverage companies to ideate, develop, and commercialize novel improved and sustainable products; to provide learning experiences in innovation and entrepreneurship for students in the College of Agriculture; and to contribute to the land-grand research and Extension missions of Purdue University.

Meet one of our student contributors below!


Recent Headlines: Purdue Ice Cream Development - Boiler Chips

Our FEMI staff and student team have working hard these past few months to research and develop a new ice cream flavor for Purdue University at the request of Purdue President Dr. Mung Chiang. Read and watch more about their experiences and journey below. You are in for a treat!

The Inside Scoop

WTHR Interview

FOX 59 Interview



Water activity & pH TEsting

Food or beverage entrepreneur? Your local health department may require the water activity and pH to be tested.  We can help!

What is water activity?  Water activity (Aw) is a measure of the amount of water in a substance that is available for things like microbial growth.  Water activity of a product is between 0 and 1, with pure water having a water activity value of 1.  The lower the number, the less likely for microbial growth.  A value of 0.85 or below indicates the product is not habitable for microbial activity.

What is pH?  pH measures how acidic or basic a solution or substance is.  pH can range from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very basic) with 7 being neutral.  pH between 0 and 4.6 is not suitable for microbial growth.  


Contact Us

Department of Food Science 
745 Agricultural Mall Dr.
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(765) 494-2766



The Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute at Purdue University fuels economic growth in Indiana and beyond by enabling food and beverage ideation, development, and commercialization of novel improved and sustainable products through supporting farmers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations.
Innovation and collaboration are essential pillars to the success of FEMI. Click below to view more information about our Partners and Donors who help make this possible.

Facilities & Resources

9,500 square feet of dedicated space

Hub of academic instruction

High level research

Extension workshops

Industry Engagement

Competitive industry and government research grants

FDA facility registration in near future

More Information

Services offered:

Commercial Kitchen Usage and Support

Hourly Usage for Internal and External Users

Skilled Support of Materials and Equipment

Skidmore Commercial Kitchen is available to external users for reservation. You can view our list of equipment available for use in the kitchen here: Skidmore equipment

To schedule a reservation:

Please contact Josh Martin at

Center for Food and Agricultural Business Consumer Corner

Purdue Institute for Family Business Strategic Business Planning

Center for Food Demand Analysis & Sustainability Consumer Food Insights



Value-Added Product Development

Benchtop Trials

Analytical Testing, including pH and water activity 

Gold Standard Creation

Pilot Plant Processing

Sensory Evaluation

Regulatory Assistance

Validation of Technology

Product Feasibility

Project Management

Student Support

Training Sessions & Short Courses

Business Planning

Aseptic Processing


Size Reduction


Hot-Fill/Acidified Pasteurization




High-Shear Mixing



Freeze Drying

Ultra Filtration

Food Safety - Discuss with us which processes are the right fit for you. Which regulatory agency do you need to use for guidelines? If you want to scale up, what equipment options are right for you?

  • Food safety plan creation
  • Product specific HAACP
  • USDA/FDA guidelines
  • Allergen training
  • Process specific safety: process authority, specification setting etc.

Food labeling & Packaging - What goes on a label? How do I set the best if used by date? What do I need to consider when purchasing packaging? What do I need to be true for me to label my product gluten-free or kosher?

  • Shelf-life testing, how to execute & set best if used by date, considerations and what you’re committing to with a best if used by date
  • Label consultation
  • Organic/All Natural/ Gluten-free regulations
  • Types of packaging/ label interaction
  • What to look for in a co-manufacturer

Co-Manufacturer Readiness - What documentation do I need to have in place to approach a co-manufacturer? How do I find a co-manufacturer? How much should I budget for starting up at a co-manufacturer?

  • Walk through a sample trial plan
  • Learn the lingo for talking to a co-manufacturer
  • Learn more opportunities for finding co-manufactures
  • Incorporate trial time and product start up into your business plan
  • Create a professional trial plan with us for your first trial or start up
  • Create specifications and how to communicate them with the manufacturer

Consumer Learning and Empathy - Do you have trouble detaching your emotions from learning about how others view your product? Let us help you design surveys and interview questions to best learn about your product in an unbiased manner.

  • Personalized consumer interview questions and surveys
  • Help with designing packaging mockups
  • Student employees can do flavor testing and focus groups

Product and process development - You know your product better than we do! But do you need some help troubleshooting as you run into new issues in the scale-up process? We're here to help!

  • Troubleshooting formula as you learn to scale
  • Solution options for industry scale problems
  • Contacts within industrial ingredient companies
  • Access professor’s industry knowledge through FEMI

Gap Identification - Do you feel like you just don't know what you don't know? We are happy to talk through the things you might need to prepare for in the next step of business development.

  • Walk through typical timelines
  • Explore the questions that need to be answered to scale up to co-manufacturing through a sample trial plan
  • Help prepare for a sales pitch or co-manufacturer meeting
  • Listen to ideas and contribute to problem solving


Dharmendra Mishra

Dr. Dharmendra Mishra

Food Science
Kenneth Foster

Dr. Kenneth Foster

Agricultural Economics
Assistant Director
Allison Kingery

Allison Kingery

Managing Director
Kelsey Budreau

Kelsey Budreau

Food Science
Pilot Plant Manager
Allison Brown

Allison Brown

Food Science
Entrepreneur Liaison
Josh Martin

Josh Martin

Food Science
Research Assistant
Madison Mehringer

Madison Mehringer

Food Science
Business Development Administrator
Christian Butzke

Christian Butzke

Food Science
Faculty Contributor
Amanda Deering

Dr. Amanda Deering

Food Science
Faculty Contributor
Brenna Ellison

Dr. Brenna Ellison

Agricultural Economics
Faculty Contributor
Maria Marshall

Dr. Maria Marshall

Agricultural Economics
Faculty Contributor
Senay Simsek

Dr. Senay Simsek

Food Science
Food Science Department Head
Renee Wiatt

Renee Wiatt

Agricultural Economics
Staff Contributor

Kassandra Julian - Technical Lead
Hometown: Martinsville, IN

Alexandra Neikirk - Technical Lead
Hometown: Lusby, MD

Nisa Abalioglu - Student Contributor
Hometown: Izmir, Turkey

Areeb Ahmed - Student Contributor
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Emelia Ashby - Student Contributor
Hometown: Elberfeld, IN

Kara Benbow - Student Contributor
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Carson Clymer - Agricultural Economics Contributor
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

Aidan Dibble - Student Contributor
Hometown: San Diego, CA

JC Douthit - Student Contributor
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana

Ayushmann Ghosh - Student Contributor
Hometown: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Claudia Guillen - Student Contributor 
Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ

Laura Harriss - Student Contributor
Hometown: Powder Springs, GA

Natalie Haynes - Student Contributor
Hometown: Memphis, TN

Anna Hicks - Student Contributor
Hometown: Okemos, MI

Lily Hough - Student Contributor
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Teresa King - Student Contributor
Hometown: Delaware, Ohio

Ashley Mohammed - Student Contributor
Hometown: Glendale Heights, IL

Barbara Montemayor Martinez - Student Contributor
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico 

Yukina Murata - Student Contributor
Hometown: San Jose, CA

Anika Murthy - Student Contributor
Hometown: Austin, TX

Natcha Ngaosuphanvongs - Student Contributor
Hometown: Pathum Thani, Thailand

Fernanda Pedroza-Altamirano - Student Contributor 
Hometown: Lima, Peru

Ava Ralston - Student Contributor
Hometown: Batesville, IN

Nicolas Rosy - Student Contributor
Hometown: Glendale Heights, IL

Doriane-hans Sossou - Student Contributor
Hometown: Benin, West Africa

Ryan Stachler - Student Contributor
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

Charlie Steadham - Student Contributor
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Lillian Stone - Student Contributor
Hometown: Frankfort, IL

Thanh Vo - Student Contributor
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Lauren Vollmer - Student Contributor
Hometown: Pewaukee, WI

Stephen Wong - Student Contributor 
Hometown: Stamford, Connecticut

Rong Yang - Student Contributor
Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Interested in working together?

FEMI project request