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State‑of‑the‑art food lab re‑opened on the Ag Campus

Posted by stephanie rogers on February 7, 2022 in News, Research

After losing most all research and teaching space in East Cox to fire in June of 2018, an opportunity arose to enhance some facilities during re-construction. The Food Lab, on the second floor of East Cox was one of those spaces.

Led by Agricultural Technician Mike Main and Senior Instructor Cynthia Parks of the Plant Food and Environmental Sciences department, the Food Lab was upgraded and certified by the provincial food inspector to receive a food safety permit.

“Instruction in food safety has always been a priority at the Faculty of Agriculture and the previous food lab was used for such purposes,” explained senior instructor Cynthia Parks.  “However, this new space enhances what we are able to do with our students and researchers and makes things easier for everyone.”

The larger space provides tables, seating, and stainless-steel work areas with an industrial strength fume hood.  A stainless-steel bench top provides increased sanitation and is easy to clean. The large fume hood is used to ventilate grease and smoke from kitchen appliances.

The lab is used for class instruction in vegetable and potato production, microbiology, and food chemistry experiments. Wine preparation in the Introduction to Viticulture course also takes place in this new lab space.

Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe’s research team recently used the lab for the Food Product Development competition. It has also been used by members of Dr. Gefu Wang Pruski’s lab for after cooking darkening experiments on potato.

The lab opened for use in September 2021.