Major Equipment - Laboratory and Pilot Plant
These facilities are used for fundamental and applied research in:
- characterising the fluid flow and viscoelastic properties of foods and food related products;
- measuring and comparing the textural attributes of food materials to quantify the effects of variables, such as processing conditions and ingredients;
- protein and polysaccharide gel formation and food emulsions.
The laboratory is equipped with the following instruments:
- Instron Model 4502 universal testing machine equipped with a wide range of fixtures to measure the textural characteristics of biological and packaging materials;
- a Texture Technologies TA-XT2 texture testing machine;
- a water activity unit;
- Hewlett Packard impedance analyzers for dielectric analysis system;
- a thermal diffusivity determination apparatus;
- a Pen Kem System 3000 electrokinetic analyzer, which determines important colloidal properties such as electrophoretic mobility, zeta potential, particle size and sedimentation velocity;
- Bohlin controlled stress rheometer, with a high temperature/pressure attachment, to measure the flow and viscoelastic properties of food systems in steady shear, controlled stress, creep compliance and oscillatory shear deformation;
- a Paar AMV 200 rolling ball low shear microviscometer;
- a range of digital display Brookfield viscometers, LVTD, RVTD, HBTD, and 5xHBTD, with a comprehensive selection of fixtures, including a helical drive and a surimi gel torsion tester;
- a Haake N3 high temperature circulator with a PG10 programmer and an external DK51 refrigeration unit;
- two Hewlett Packard programmable input/output systems for data acquisition and process control.
The laboratory equipment also includes a number of other temperature controlled circulators, a Polytron homogenizer, a Sorvall Omni-Mixer, strip chart recorders, electronic balances, microcomputers, printers, plotters, temperature and pressure sensors, and other miscellaneous equipment.
These facilities are shared by faculty and students from the Department of Food Science and Technology as well as technical staff from CIFT. Capabilities include the purification, characterization and kinetic analysis of enzymes in food. Most of the work to date has focused on enzymes related to seafood spoilage or toughening induced by long-term frozen storage.
Recently, the Department has purchased a temperature controlled, computerized microplate reader which is being used for enzyme assays, protein determination and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
Chemical Analysis Equipment
- general purpose instruments such as pH meters, analytical and top loading balances, homogenizers, explosion-proof blenders, food processors, stirrers, heaters and circulating water baths;
- IEC B-20A centrifuge with large and small rotors.
Protein Analysis Equipment
- LKB 2117 Mutiphor II electrophoresis/electrofocusing unit, LKB 2001 Vertical electrophoresis unit, LKB 2297 Macro drive 5 constant current power supply, LKB 2003 Slab gel dryer, and LKB 2219 Multi temp II - thermostatic circulator;
- B&K Precision model 1602 high voltage power supply;
- Barnstead autoclave.
- Biorad Prep Electrophoresis Cell 491.
Instrument Room Equipment
- Perkin-Elmer DSC-2C differential scanning calorimeter;
- Perkin-Elmer LS50 luminescence spectrometer plus fluorescence data manager;
- Reichert Ultramicrotome and LKB 7800 Ultramicrotome glass knife maker;
- Mettler M3 microbalance;
- Nikon Hfx microscope with 35 mm camera (equipped for bright field, dark field, phase contrast and epi-fluorescence microscopy);
- Beckman model L-2 ultra centrifuge;
- a Waters high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system for general analysis of seafood quality which includes: a Model 720 System controller, a Model 730 Data module, a Model 450 UV/Vis monitor, a Model 710B auto sampler, and 2 Model M6000A high pressure pumps;
- a Gardner Model AC-3 colour difference meter;
- a Philips PU8800 UV/VIS spectrophotometer equipped with a Compaq Deskpro 386 computer, a PU 8500 densitometer and an Accuron SPX876 Series 2 temperature program controller;
- a Unicam SP-800 UV/VIS spectrophotometer and chart recorder;
- a Waters HPLC system for seafood toxin analyses which includes: NEC, APC IV computer system controller, a P6 printer, a system interface module, a Model 712 Auto sampler with refrigeration unit, a Model 484 tunable absorbance detector, a temperature control module and two column heaters, 2 Model 510 high pressure pumps and 3-Eldex #A-30-5W solvent pumps;
- a Shimadzu RF-535 Fluorescence monitor;
- Pharmacia fast protein liquid chromatography system for enzyme and protein purification which includes: LCC 500 system controller, GP-250 gradient programmer, 2-P-500 solvent pumps, UB-2 dual path monitor (control and optical unit), pH monitor, Frac-100 fraction collector, and 482 recorder.
- Molecular devices "Thermomax" microplate reader - plus softmax software with computer control;
- studying natural preservatives such as tocopherols in farmed fish diets;
- profiling edible fats and oils, including lipid class composition, fatty acid composition, vitamin content, sterol content, and the presence of polymers or trans isomers of natural cis-form fatty acids in processed oils;
- investigating petroleum hydrocarbon tainting of seafood;
- assessing PCB and pesticide contamination of fish and fish products;
- investigating methods to purify marine oils for consumer use and to concentrate biomedically desirable fatty acids;
This research involves basic lipid extraction from food products by standard wet laboratory techniques followed by analyses using gas chromatography with electron capture and flame ionization detectors, High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Chromarod/Iatroscan techniques.
The equipment available includes:
- Perkin-Elmer Autosystem gas chromatograph;
- Varian 3400 gas chromatograph ;
- Perkin-Elmer Model Sigma 4 gas chromatograph;
- two Model MK III and one Model MK II Iatron Laboratories Iatroscans with Spectra Physics Model SP4200 and SP4270 integrators;
- Iatroscan Mk-5 TLC/FID Analyser with DET nitrogen-sensitive detector and Technilogic 386 data processor;
- Buchler flash evaporators;
- a Welsbach ozone generator;
- Centaur 2, IECHN-SII, and Dynac variable speed centrifuges;
- Chromato-vue UV and visible light box;
- Waters Associates Prep LC/System 500 preparative liquid chromatograph;
- Envirochem Model 1260 dynamic thermal stripper;
- Envirochem Unicon series 810 purge and trap flavor concentrator
- Waters Associates HPLC equipment comprised of three Model 6000 A pumps, a Model M-45 pump, three Model U6K injectors, two Model R401 differential refractometer detectors, a Model 420 fluorescence detector, Lambda-max Model 450 UV variable wavelength detectors, and a Model 474 scanning fluorescence detector, a Model 100 radial compression separation module and a Model 720 system controller;
- Varian Model UV-50 variable wavelength detector;
- VAREX Evaporative Light Scattering HPLC Detector MK III;
- Parr 1901 and 1911 Oxygen Bomb Apparatus energy measurement systems;
- Pope wiped - wall thin - film still, 2" model;
- a Karr reciprocating plate countercurrent extraction column and a 25 l capacity glass distillation unit with an Oldershaw 3" glass fractionation column;
The laboratory equipment also includes a number of mechanical and electronic balances, Waring Blendors, a Sorvall Omni-Mixer, circulating water baths, vacuum pumps, microcomputers, drum pumps, peristaltic pumps and other miscellaneous equipment.
The chemical analysis section of the laboratory has facilities for proximate analysis and quality assessment tests of food and fish materials.
The equipment available includes:
- Buchi Kjeldahl Nitrogen System including a Buchi 430 Digestion Unit and a Buchi 321 Distillation Unit for determining protein and non-protein nitrogen in foods;
- Blue M and Thermolyne muffle furnaces for ash determinations;
- Pye-Unicam PU 8600 Spectrophotometer for colorimetric procedures to determine quality attributes;
- Specialized distillation apparatus for Thiobarbituric Acid Rancidity tests;
- Unicam SP90A Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer;
- Sorvall Superspeed RC-2 Centrifuge, a Buchler Flash Evaporator, Mettler PJ 360 Balance, Mettler Gram-ATIC Balance and Minolta Colormeter.
Other general purpose equipment includes: drying ovens, pH and conductivity meters, blenders, stirrers, mixers, water baths, food processors, fume hoods and refrigerators, as well as a full complement of laboratory glassware.
The microbiology section of the Food Analysis Lab has facilities for microbiological examination of food and water samples.
The equipment available includes:
- Biological Containment Hood (Class 2, Type "A") to provide a microbial contaminant-free work area;
- Stomacher Lab-Blender 400 to homogenize solid and semi-solid materials for microbiological analyses;
- Darkfield Quebec Colony Counter for the enumeration of microbial colonies;
- Barnstead Autoclave to sterilize culture media and reagents;
- Sartorius 2357 balance, Precision Scientific (GE) Incubator, two Blue M Dry Type Bacteriological Incubators and Nikon (OPTIPHOT) Microscope equipped with phase-contrast, bright field, dark field, epi-fluorescence and photomicrographic accessories.