Pilot Labora​tory

Our Mission is to enhance health, safety, quality, and sustainability of foods; prepare the next generation of leaders in food science; and address stakeholders needs. ​

Preparing t​​he Best...

That’s what has been happening at Purdue’s Department of Food Science since 1983. Food Science at Purdue is a growth industry. Over the last ten years, student enrollment is up over 500%, while the Department has maintained 100% placement of its graduates! Studies focus on applying basic science and engineering to convert raw agricultural commodities into edible foods and beverages that are safe, nutritious and value-added. Faculty and students work closely with the food and equipment industries to develop and apply new technologies and prepare students as tomorrow’s leaders.
Our long-term goals are the same as your company’s: improving the safety and quality of foods and developing value-added products and new technologies.

To provide the future leadership for the food industry, Purdue has expanded its Food Science facilities. Completed in July 1998 the new $22 million, 120,000 square foot Food Science Building features:

  • 9,000 square foot Pilot Lab
  • 36 Research & Teaching Labs
  • Computer Manufacturing Lab

Centered on education, technology transfer and research, the building provides modern facilities to train top students, quickly respond to industry needs and to competitively seek industry and government research grants.

The cornerstone of the new building is a state-of-the-art Pilot Laboratory. Operating as a model manufacturing area, it allows manufacturers to see how a process works before committing to full production. Wet chemistry, microbiology, and food product development laboratories are also available to solve related challenges. Capabilities include:
  • Aseptic and thermal processing and packaging
  • Equipment design and development
  • Automated quality control/recipe management
  • Process design
  • Ultrasound applications/process improvement
  • In-line Physical/Chemical Sensor evaluation
  • Controlled/modified atmosphere, active and aseptic packaging
  • Shelf-life studies and sensory evaluation

Growth continues to be strong as the Pilot Lab hosts more than 50 companies annually, testing new processes and equipment to improve their manufacturing processes. Annually, over 750 future food scientists and engineers are exposed to all phases of the Pilot Lab and its capabilities.

Partneri​ng Opportunities

The Purdue Food Science Pilot Lab aggressively seeks new industrial partners with the food and equipment industries. Working closely with your staff, we focus on your needs, utilizing state-of-the- art equipment designed to provide prompt results.
Partnering companies benefit from...

  • Prompt response
  • Access to teams of internationally recognized faculty with specialized expertise
  • Specialized resources for problem solving
  • Access to multifaceted technology transfer programs
  • Access to top food science faculty and students
  • Integrated partnership opportunities
  • Beta site testing opportunities
  • Affiliation with a dynamic food science and engineering department
  • Significant company exposure to students/public

Specific testing and research opportunities can be developed and designed as needed by your company.

For more details on how your company can benefit from working with the Purdue Food Science Pilot Lab, contact Pilot Plant Manger Kelsey Budreau, budreaukj@purdue.edu.


Department of Food Science, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-8256

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