DRI Pilot Lab

Our DRI Sensory Applications Lab

The Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center (SDFRC) has been in operation since 1988. North Carolina State University is the lead institution, and is one of five National Centers funded and managed by the Dairy Research Institute (DRI) established in 2010 through Dairy Management Inc (DMI), the non-profit management organization formed in 1995 by the National Dairy Board (NDB) and the United Dairy Industry Association. The SDFRC actively participates in national research planning and execution on behalf of the dairy industry and other entities. The center’s research scientists help food processors address applications challenges and develop new products and processes using dairy products and ingredients.

The center also hosts the Sensory Applications Laboratory, conducting analytical, qualitative and affective sensory tests and flavor chemistry analyses tailored to meet specific needs of the food industry.  The sensory application lab was established in 2004 and is directed by Dr. MaryAnne Drake.  The lab is an official McDonalds partner and works with more than 80 industrial clients.

Applications lab services offered:

  • Collaborate with you to assess your sensory needs and requirements
  • Design and implement analytical sensory tests including difference tests, threshold tests, and descriptive sensory analysis
  • Perform consumer acceptability and opinion testing via consumer testing panels and market research
  • Conduct on-site workshops and panel training at your facility tailored to your interests and needs
  • Perform volatile compound extraction (headspace and solvent extraction capacity) with GC-MS and/or GC-O
  • Administer analytical services such as nonvolatile component testing
  • Deliver expert statistical reporting and analysis
  • Interpret results and make recommendations for you
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