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Food Processing Pilot Plant

FST Brewhouse

The department operates two pilot plants for research and teaching purposes.  The 5,000-square-foot Food Science building pilot lab provides an ideal enviroment for students to learn the basics of food processing. The 7,100-square-foot food processing pilot plant in HABB1 provides process and product development support to researchers and industry. The space is designed to be versatile, incorporating drop down utilities and the potential for enclosure.  Additionally, it provides a vital resource for food companies that are just starting up or are evaluating new equipment, processes and product lines. The HABB1 building has a full loading dock, with leveler, and entrance doors that can accommodate equipment pieces up to 15' high and 9'-11" wide. Faculty and staff members are available for consultation and assistance with the development of novel processes and products, or simply for evaluation and analysis of samples or prototypes.

If you would like to use this facility, please fill out the use request form.


  • Utilities including chilled water, vacuum, air, natural gas, steam, C02, N2
  • Environmental rooms
  • Pasteurizers and retort for sterilization
  • UHT/HTST pasteurizer with clean fill hood
  • Temperature-controlled storage
  • Spray drier
  • Vacuum packaging machine with MAP capabilities
  • Pressure fryer
  • Product batching and mixing capabilities
  • Malting, brewing and distillation equipment

Contact Information

Brian Wiersema
Pilot Plant Manager
(540) 231-0864
HABB1 Building (0924)
1230 Washington St., SW
Blacksburg, VA 24061