Research and Development

Research

The Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center (FIC) at The Ohio State University conducts food product research and new product development for the food industry and entrepreneurs. Our staff assists clients in developing new food products, processes, ingredient formulation, etc. Starting with only an idea, the research procedure includes the necessary steps for converting the original home made product into a formulation for scale up, production at pilot plant level, and packaging.

The Department of Food Science and Technology at The Ohio State University is a world class program on the cutting edge of food technology. Our distinguished faculty are experts in food science and food technology. Detailed information about research focus can be found here.

Product Development

FIC is well equipped with over 20,000 square feet of food processing facilities and lab space to help develop product ideas. Our expert staff and researchers can assist in all stages of product development from initial bench work to finished product and consumer acceptance.

  • Process development

    This is the first step to define and establish your process at commercial scale that consists of product formulation, processing conditions, storage, marketing, distribution, and selling options. Additional services include identification of personnel that may be required, regulatory and supportive product analyses, information and description of necessary equipment.

  • Bench-top formulations

    Bench work is the first step in development and the FIC has the laboratory capabilities and equipment to get you from the table to the processing plant.

  • Scale up

    The food processing pilot plants have processing equipment available for scale up.

  • Sensory Evaluation

    Sensory evaluation is often the final step in new product development. However, it is also effective throughout the entire process. Sensory analysis can provide initial guidance during the bench-top stage when the product is taking shape. Difference testing during the scale up may supply consistency from bench-top to manufacturing. In the end, the product must be acceptable to the chosen consumer. Sensory can also contribute road markers along the way utilizing consumer expectations before a product is completed. Therefore, sensory plays a vital role in measuring production at the plant insuring product consistency and acceptability.

  • Nutritional labeling

    Nutritional labeling is an important part of product development. The product label is made accurately to have the complete nutritional content that includes calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and allergens.

Emerging Technologies Labs

High pressure processing
Batch 2-liter-size pilot scale high pressure facility for evaluating food pasteurization and sterilization of a wide variety of prepackaged liquid and solid products. Heat sensitive seafood, fruits and vegetables, juices, meat, low-acid foods, etc. Supporting laboratory for conducting microbial or enzymatic kinetic studies and food thermal and physical properties. For more information, please visit Dr. Bala Balasubramaniam's High Pressure Food Processing lab web site:
http://grad.fst.ohio-state.edu/hpp

Ozone disinfection
Ozone systems for gaseous or aqueous treatment of food at the experimental level. The systems include ozone generators (1-16 lb ozone/day), treatment chambers (2-300 liters), and ozone exhaust and destruct units. Treatment chambers were designed to sanitize fresh produce, eggs, and other agricultural commodities. Because the systems are housed in a biosafety level-II facility, they are suitable for treating pathogen-contaminated food. The systems cannot be used to treat food for human consumption. For more information, please visit Dr. Ahmed Yousef's food safety lab web site: http://fst.osu.edu/foodsafetylab/index.htm

Ohmic heating
Fully equipped 54 kW pilot facility for product trials, and for process testing and validation (operates at approximately 1.5 gpm product, intended to handle a wide variety of foods, both liquid and with particulates up to 3/4 inch), various batch heaters for concept testing, devices for blanching and extraction. Process modeling, testing of application concepts.