Our Facilities

Our Facilities

Here at NCSU’s Sensory Service Center, we are able to accommodate almost any size or scale test with a fast turnaround in our extensive and fully equipped food analysis labs:

  • Eleven computerized testing booths outfitted with a computer, screen, keyboard, mouse and pass through window
  • Climate controlled facility, odor controlled
  • Full scale kitchen with 6 commercial ovens, as well as home ovens and ranges
  • Two walk-in refrigerators
  • Industrial scale walk-in freezer
  • Computerized data collection (Compusense)- Ensures a high degree of accuracy and quick top line results reporting
  • Deionized water filtration system
  • Large, well-maintained Odor Library with all standard aroma compounds. Separately stored.

We can accommodateup to 11 panelists at a time, running 20-30 minutes cycles. This averages out to receiving approximately 150 people per day.

Kitchen Equipment

Our kitchen equipment includes:

  • 12 microwaves
  • Home-style refrigerators and freezers for storage
  • Upright industrial refrigerators
  • KitchenAid mixers
  • Electric skillets and counter top grills
  • Bunn restaurant grade coffee makers; home kitchen grade coffee makers
  • Hobart meat slicer
  • Convection and non-convection ovens
  • Soft serve ice cream makers
  • Frozen drink makers
  • Incubators for shelf life testing
  • Gas fired deep fat fryers

Testing Equipment

Our testing equipment allows us to run a full range of volatile and non-volatile analysis:

  • Dairy fat centrifuge
  • HPLC
  • GC-MS
  • GC-O*
  • Solvent Assistant Flavor Evaporation
  • Simultaneous Distillation Evaporation
  • Cary 300 Spectrophotometer
  • Sorval High Speed Centrifuge
  • Vacuum Drying Oven
  • Minus 80 and Minus 40 sample freezers
  • Ultra Pressure Liquid Chromatography – new!
  • Gerstal Sorptive Stirbar – new!
  • ITEX sampler – new!
  • Multi-dimensional GC-MS with heart cutting – new!
  • GC-MS/MS
  • Thermo Fisher Ion Chromatography

The NCSU Sensory Service Center Lab is fully supported by a modern Pilot Lab* facility. Not limited to just receiving samples, our lab’s in house production capability can, for example, take raw milk through to finished protein concentrate powder (this is relevant to liquid or spray dried whey manufacture requiring flavor analysis.) Our facilities are growing and we have the ability to make accommodations for specialized equipment need for your testing.

Our Pilot Plant facility and GC-O equipment are unique to most university sensory labs.


  • Extensive consumer data base (approx 7,000) of Triangle area residents to recruit for test participation (consumers from additional cities currently being added)
  • Off site and outdoor testing set up (tables, tents, chairs) >
  • Tablet PCs (8 units) for computerized data acquisition off site

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