Food Science and Nutrition units and laboratories
Dairy Products Processing Unit
The Fresno State Dairy Products Processing Unit specializes in producing Fresno State ice cream, milk, cheese, butter and spreads, as well as a few other non-dairy products such as raspberry ice tea. Annually the unit produces more than 15,000 gallons of ice cream, 600 gallons of sherbet, 12,000 gallons of fluid milk and nearly 800 pounds of cheese – all for sale at the university’s Gibson Farm Market.
The processing lab employs a dozen students year-round and also serves as a training facility for dozens more in various food science and nutrition classes. Food Science professors and students use the facility for research in developing and testing new food products. Fresno State's Dairy Processing unit offers many opportunities for Fresno State students – from scholarships to employment opportunities.
Food Processing Laboratory
Fresno State’s Food Processing/Post-harvest Laboratory is used by food science students and faculty for larger-scale preparation, processing and engineering related to food product production. Products are made in batches designed to simulate actual industry process conditions. Over the years the laboratory has benefitted from more than $600,000 in equipment and space improvements, with additions such as a 60-gallon batch cooker and a conveyor belt.
The lab, located adjacent to the Dairy Processing Unit, employs from six to a dozen students each year in special projects and also serves as a training ground for undergraduate and graduate students who are developing and producing their own products. Most products processed in the laboratory are sold at the Gibson Farm Market, giving students further opportunities to determine the marketability of their products. A new $600,000 post-harvest facility has been approved for construction adjacent to the existing laboratory. The new facility will be used to produce “minimally-processed,” value-added products.
Fresno State’s Food Laboratory, located in the Family and Food Science Building, offers opportunities for students to develop and enhance their food preparation and cooking skills. Students obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences are exposed to a creative, research-oriented option that includes product development, culinary sciences, food chemistry, food microbiology, sensory science, food processing and food service management. As students learn cooking and science, they gain hands-on experience in culinary arts and research. In the lab they have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment such as induction cookers, ice cream machines, dehydrators, steamers and mixers. These hands-on experiences prepare students for a variety of careers in the food service industry.
The Microbiology/Chemistry Laboratory is dedicated to testing for pathogenic micro-organisms and chemicals that can cause contamination to food products. Testing for micro-organisms such as Salmonella spp., Stapylococcus aureus and other potentially harmful chemicals is conducted here without possibility of cross-contamination to other foodstuffs or laboratories. Renovations have enabled the lab to acquire testing equipment such as a gas chromatograph and a high performance liquid chromatograph. Under faculty guidance, both undergraduate and graduate-level food science students use the lab for special research projects that will eventually benefit the food industry. The lab is located in the Family and Food Science Building.