As the largest Food and Nutritional Sciences department in the country, we give home to an extensive range of facilities that enable us to engage in uniquely diverse teaching and research. The Department's laboratory facilities include a Chemical Analysis Facility with several NMR spectrometers, mass spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction facilities, and extensive laboratories complement these facilities. We also boast some other unique facilities as described below.
Food processing Centre
Able to simulate and recreate the conditions of industry, our pilot plant is an exciting place to develop and analyse food products. The pilot plant has dedicated areas for dairy, bakery, thermal processing and dehydration as well as separation equipment. With a floor space of 1100 square metres, the Food Processing Centre is one of the largest in the country. This makes us a leading destination for students, businesses and academics alike.
"Being able to go and play on big pieces of equipment like that, I think it was really good fun, and again helps bring to life some of the theory and application you get taught through your time here."
Ben Hills of Bighams
The Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition
Built to be a leading facility for research into the effect of diet on vascular and body composition, the Hugh Sinclair Unit makes Reading a leading centre for human clinical nutrition studies. The Unit features six clinical rooms and in vivo imaging systems, including a DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scanner that measures bone mineral density and laser Doppler iontophoresis for the non-invasive measurement of vascular blood flow. Cell analysis, phenotyping and functional analysis of blood and tissue cells are also possible due to our flow cytometry suite.
The Flavour centre
The Flavour Centre hosts facilities including GC-MS, GC-olfactometry, and LC-MS, all coupled with sophisticated flavour extraction techniques, that enable a wide range of taste and aroma analyses to be undertaken. Understanding the chemistry of flavour is crucial to developing successful new products or improving poor performance. Our facilities and expertise can help to ensure that both new and existing products are as appealing as possible.
Sensory Science Centre
In partnership with the independent market research group MMR Research Worldwide Ltd, the Sensory Science Centre provides high quality sensory evaluation data for MMR's blue-chip food, drink and healthcare clients and the University's research and teaching programmes.
The Centre uses a managed panel of professional sensory assessors, all recruited from the local community, who have been trained to evaluate the taste qualities of a wide range of products. Sensory evaluation is an essential tool for optimising consumer acceptance of food products. It is also vital in gaining understanding of how we perceive flavour, taste and texture in food.
Visit us to see our extensive facilities
Reading has the most diverse facilities of any Food and Nutritional Sciences department in the UK. Come to an Open Day to see what we offer.