The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition has excellent research facilities including fully equipped chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, nutrition, and molecular biology laboratories; food-processing pilot plant complex; bioprocessing/fermentation pilot plant; metabolic kitchen; and a sensory science lab.

Facilities under the direction of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition provide state-of-the art environments where students gain hands-on experience preparing foods, putting on fine dining experience, and working with cutting-edge research equipment.

Oven in classroom

Food Labs

Food Science and Human Nutrition students create and demonstrate in our state-of-the-art Food Labs. Doris Kelley Christopher, founder of The Pampered Chef, Ltd., sponsored the Food Labs’ 2008 renovation, which included installing workstation video cameras and synced screens, increasing lab capacity, improving food safety aspects of the lab, and adding accessible workstations. 

The Food Science and Human Nutrition Food Labs are located on the third floor of Bevier Hall.

People working in processing plant

Pilot Processing Plant

The Food Science and Human Nutrition Pilot Processing Plant is a flexible facility built to meet the needs of students, researchers, and the international food industry. Plug-and-play utilities, large equipment selection, and a product development kitchen provide an ideal environment for hands-on learning opportunities, new product or process development, and small-scale food production.

Visit the Pilot Processing Plant website

Student measuring food.

Metabolic Kitchen

The Food Science and Human Nutrition Metabolic Kitchen is a 1,000-square-foot research facility where students and researchers conduct translational, biochemical, and molecular biological research. The Metabolic Kitchen and feeding laboratory houses cutting-edge equipment that allows for absolute control of food and liquid preparation for experimental meals. Here, researchers aim to understand how diet and the microbiome connect and contribute to health and disease in adult populations. The Nutrition & Human Microbiome Laboratory website has examples of projects that have utilized the facility.

The Food Science and Human Nutrition Metabolic Kitchen is located in the basement of the Agricultural Bioprocessing Laboratory building.

Professor talking with students in a lab

Human Nutrition Teaching and Research Labs

The department’s teaching and research laboratories facilitate learning and breakthrough research. Researchers work in our fully equipped chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and molecular biology labs to find solutions to food quality, safety, and security issues. Undergraduate and graduate students work alongside faculty in these labs to discover new approaches to the challenges facing the food science and human nutrition fields.

The Food Science and Human Nutrition Teaching and Research Labs are located throughout Bevier Hall and the Agricultural Engineering Sciences, Agricultural Bioprocessing Laboratory, Edwin R. Madigan Laboratory, Animal Sciences Laboratory, and National Soybean Research Laboratory buildings.

Student testing different drinks in a lab

Sensory Labs

Students in our food sensory courses work in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Sensory Labs to understand sensory cues related to food evaluation. Because our food sensory courses are focused on understanding the analysis and interpretation of sensory data, the labs feature evaluation booths fitted with adjustable controls and computers for live data collection.

The Food Science and Human Nutrition Sensory Labs are located on the third floor of Bevier Hall and the basement of the National Soybean Research Laboratory building.

Student serving food to other students in cafe

Bevier Café

More than just a great place to eat, Bevier Café is a real-life classroom laboratory managed by Food Science and Human Nutrition students. Staffing and managing Bevier Café provides opportunities to learn about food service operations, including production, service, and business accounting through hands-on experience. 

Bevier Café is located on the second floor of Bevier Hall and is open Monday through Friday for lunch.

Visit Bevier Cafe

Server standing with a plate of drinks with people in the back

Spice Box

The Spice Box is a student-run restaurant associated with the University of Illinois Hospitality Management Program. Seniors in the program are required to take the capstone level course, FSHN 443: Fine Dining Management.

In this course, each senior is responsible for planning, staffing, executing and evaluating a financially viable themed fine dining meal. Each student is encouraged to invite and work with a guest chef from the local area or across the country to aid in this fine dining experience.

Visit the Spicebox website