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Food Systems Innovation Center

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The Food Systems Innovation Center(FSIC) provides technical and business development services to facilitate the profitable production, processing and marketing of locally produced and processed food by Kentucky-based enterprises and entrepreneurs.

The FSIC was created to assist processors, producers and entrepreneurs to maximize their market capabilities by having access to UK's technical and business expertise.The center is a collaborative effort of a number of departments within the College of Agriculture including the Department of Animal and Food Science and the Department of Agricultural Economics.


CLICK HERE to visit the FSIC website 



Consumer, Sensory and Demand Studies
In collaboration with the FSIC, the Department of Agricultural Economics conducts consumer, demand studies, economic impact and feasibility studies. Our clients can gather valuable market analysis and product placement information to develop overall business strategy. Data from these studies can assess consumer willingness-to-pay and product feature preferences such as formulation or packaging. Through regular surveys of Kentucky consumer households and the ability to work with panels nationwide, the FSIC can provide timely market information. The FSIC provides services to farming communities, manufacturers of all sizes and to industry or government associations.

Food Chemistry Testing
Basic chemical analysis and testing requirements for the food industry are provided by our chemical laboratory division which specializes in testing for process validation such as salt, pH, CO2 and O2 levels, water activity and several other analyses.

Click HERE for a General Analysis Request form

Nutrition Labeling
With new legislature in place more food manufacturers are required to label their food products in order to conduct business. As it is a necessity for a large part of the food industry, manufacturers should seek assistance in verifying their labeling requirements. The FSIC performs the necessary analysis and develops nutrition labeling information for all product categories.

Click HERE for a Nutrition Panel Request form

Process Reviews
FSIC is able to perform Process Reviews for Canned Acidified Foods and FDA 2541e exempt canned products. Process Reviews are required by the FDA and KY Food Safety Branch for any canned foods sold beyond the Homebased Processor and Microprocessor certified outlets. We do not perform reviews for non-Kentucky residents, effective 10/21/15, and submissions from states other than Kentucky will be rejected.


If you are a Kentucky Resident seeking a Process Review from our Process Authority, please click here for process review

The FDA may require processors to file their products under the FDA 2541e Acidified and Low Acid Canned Foods Guidance.

Filing instructions and tips for the FDA 2541e form are found on the FDA website.


Click HERE for FDA 2541e filing information


Microbiological Testing
Product safety is a key concern in the minds of food manufacturers as well as consumers and all stakeholders in the supply chain. Determining quality, safety and risk can all be performed by our microbiological testing laboratory. Food borne pathogen testing, shelf life determination and challege studies, environmental testing, identifying process or preservative system failures, food station and plant sanitation process verification are some of the staple procedures carried out by our microbiological testing service.

Shelf life testing - From fresh, refrigerated and frozen products to shelf stable products and processed meats all food products have an optimal time during which the customer should consumer it, both for safety and for quality purposes.

Risk Assessment- Pathogens are one of the main concerns to the consumer. Validation studies can be done to ensure your process is appropriate and results in a safe, acceptable product to the consumer.

Sensory Evaluations
The FSICs sensory panel services can help our clients to determine consumer acceptance of a product, identify potential flavor, visual, other sensory issues and provide descriptive feedback. Sensory analyses are a key component in a successful food marketing plan and can provide data prior to market launches to ensure success. With sensory testing, you can match flavors, make better product launch decisions and know more about your potential customers before your product is on the market.



Additional FSIC contact information

  • Paul Vijayakumar - Assistant Extension Professor, Department of Animal & Food Science
  • Leeann Slaughter - Program Coordinator, Department of Animal & Food Science
  • Milissa Newman - Associate Professor, Department of Animal & Food Science