The Food Science & Human Nutrition Pilot Processing Plant was originally constructed in 1984, bringing together equipment and resources previously spread across several locations on campus. Half of the facility operated as a registered dairy, with the remaining space serving as a teaching space for students.
Over time, changes in the food industry forced the facility to adapt, dropping the dairy program and adding new equipment in emerging areas. After three decades, an aging facility, new regulations, and increased expectations of a pilot processing plant grew the need to complete a major renovation.
Input was sought from faculty, alumni, industry partners, and others to develop a plan for the future of the facility. It was decided to improve food safety compliance throughout the facility through new surfaces and re-rerouted utilities, add dedicated HVAC and exhaust systems to the space, build a new product development kitchen, and upgrade the food processing equipment. After much planning, a fundraising effort was started, and $1.2M was received soon after beginning from the “Provost’s Campus Facilities Matching Funds Program.” Additional funds were raised from the College of ACES, department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, and private donations from alumni, friends, and industry.
Design of the renovated facility began in early 2015, with construction starting in Summer 2016. The facilities project was completed in Fall 2017, and new equipment began to be installed. The facility was fully operational in Spring 2018, with an Open House and Donor Recognition held September 28, 2018.
The Food Science & Human Nutrition Pilot Processing Plant has been identified as a funding priority by the College of ACES. For more information on this priority, and remaining naming opportunities, please click here.