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

  • 12 Microwaves
  • Home-style refrigerators and freezers for storage
  • Upright industrial refrigerators
  • KitchenAid mixers
  • Electric skillets and countertop 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/li>
  • Deep fat fryers

Analytical Testing Equipment

  • 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
  • Gerstal Sorptive Stir Bar Thermal Desorption Unit
  • ITEX sampler
  • Multi-dimensional GC-MS with heart cutting
  • GC-MS/MS
  • Thermo Fisher Ion Chromatography


The NCSU Sensory Service Center Lab is fully supported by a modern Pilot Labfacility. 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 10,000) of Triangle area residents to recruit for local test participation, additional databases for online-only survey respondents
  • Off site and outdoor testing set up (tables, tents, chairs)
  • iPads for computerized data acquisition off site