Food Sensory Laboratory

102 G. M. Trout FSHN Building''

The Food Sensory Laboratory is located on the first floor of the G. Malcolm Trout FSHN Building and is accessible from all other processing facilities in the department.  The Sensory Lab offers facilities for:

  • Product sensory evaluation
  • Sensory panel training
  • Sample preparation and storage
  • Food product development
  • Nutrient analysis (using Genesis R and D)
  • Nutrition facts labeling

Food Sensory Areas

''Testing Area

The testing area allows for discriminative, descriptive, and consumer panel methodology and includes: 

  • Seven individual booths with sliding door pass-throughs equipped with touch screen computers and Formica countertops.
  • Two banks of individually controlled fluorescent lights (cool white, red or green tubes).
  • Positive air pressure. 
  • Sensory Information Management System (SIMS 2000 for Windows) from Sensory Computer Systems.

Training Area

A training area suitable for profile or descriptive analysis panels is adjacent to the testing facilities and includes: 

  • Conference table seating for 10-12 panelists. 
  • Dry erase board. 

Preparation Area

Between the booth areas is a preparation laboratory, which allows efficient preparation and presentation of samples.

Facilities and Equipment

  • Laboratory benches adjacent to and flush with sliding pass-throughs
  • Preparation benches
  • Hand and dishwashing facilities
  • Conventional range/oven
  • Two microwave ovens
  • Freezer and refrigerator storage
  • Preparation and serving utensils
  • Storage for dry ingredients, glassware and trays
  • Analytical balance, digital balancer
  • Fisher Isotemp Lab oven
  • 1 Freezer
  • 1 Refrigerator
  • 1 Refrigerator Freezer
  • Water activity meter (AquaLab)
  • TA.XT2i Texture Analyzer
  • Konica Color Reader
  • Refractometer
  • pH meter

Examples of Research Activities with a Sensory Component

  • Michigan Bean Commission / Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. Assessment and utilization of novel food ingredients derived from Michigan dry edible beans: An innovative research and outreach project to enhance competitive advantage and long term sustainability for Michigan dry bean growers and shippers.
  • USDA- National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Production and supply side strategies for a local, Michigan grass-finished beef production system.
  • National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI). An integrated approach to enhancing the safety of fresh-cut fruit and vegetable salads during processing, packaging, and distribution.
  • Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI)-USDA. A total systems approach to specialty crop innovation: developing integrated systems to produce stem-free sweet cherries.
  • Defense Supply Center Philadelphia. Breakfast Components that Includes Eggs Part 1-3 Project No 2032.
  • International Life Sciences Institute Technical Committee on Food Microbiology. Inactivation of Salmonella on Raw Nuts Using Low Energy X Ray.
  • Kemira ChemSolutions. Inhibitory Effect of Provian (Sodium Lactate and Sodium Acetate Mixtures) on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in Frankfurters Stored at 4, 7, or 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Multiple Company Testing Projects - beverages, restaurant foods, bakery products, etc.
  • Other research areas: Fresh cut fruits, vegetables, tart cherry concentrate and juice, watermelon juice, sugar-coated bean products, fermented cherry / apple blend ciders, chestnuts, various packaged products to extend shelf life and insure food safety. 

Emily Mayhew, Facility Coordinator
Food Science and Human Nutrition
Trout, G.M., FSHN Building
469 Wilson Rd, Rm 113-114
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone:  517-884-0046