Schmidt Lab

Call Hall 160
785-532-5681 fax


The Value-Added/Product Development Lab, located in the northwest wing of Call Hall, includes facilities, equipment, and instruments for bench top food product development, packaging, and physical, chemical, and microbiological analyses of foods. Part of the facility is specifically designated for accelerated shelf-life testing of food products, and is equipped with controlled atmosphere incubators.

The Lab’s staff offers food-related businesses, processors, and entrepreneurs numerous services. These include the following:

  • Process requests and inquiries in regard to new food concepts.
  • Assist in the production of new foods or consult on methods of adding value to existing ones.
  • Perform a wide variety of physical, chemical, microbiological, and sensory evaluations.
  • Conduct shelf-life tests to determine expiration date.
  • Review product labels for compliance with state and federal guidelines.
  • Generate nutritional information panels from available databases or by chemical analysis.
  • Offer HACCP and food safety training.
  • Act as a "Processing Authority," as defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Suggest suppliers for ingredients, packaging materials, and equipment.
  • Answer questions concerning food processing rules and regulations.
  • Offer publications on food processing issues such as labeling and sanitation.

The Value-Added/Product Development Lab is part of K-State Research and Extension, and therefore, does not compete with other diagnostic laboratories. Fees are assessed to cover materials and use of equipment.

Product Tests Available

  • pH
  • Aw (Water activity)
  • Sodium
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Moisture
  • Ash
  • Brix
  • Viscosity
  • Drain weight
  • Headspace analysis
  • Total plate count
  • Yeast and mold
  • Coliforms
  • Texture analysis
  • Sensory analysis
  • Shelf-life analysis
  • Food product development and testing

Equipment/Instruments (Partial list)

  • Vacuum (inert gas) packager
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • PH meter/ion selective electrodes
  • Water activity meters
  • Oxygen analyzers
  • Reach-in incubators
  • Chlorine/sanitizer tests
  • Electronic balances
  • Microscopes
  • Texture analyzer
  • Rheometers
  • Colorimeters
  • Refractometers
  • Multiple pieces of equipment are available for loan to processors. A current list is available upon request.

Contact Information

Unit Coordinator(s)


Karen A. Schmidt
224 Call Hall
Specialization: Dairy Foods Chemistry
Dairy Foods Quality
Dairy Foods Technology
Dairy Protein Chemistry