Information for Businesses

Finding the right people to work with your business is always a challenge but we hope that you will find FIA staff sympathetic to your needs and as well as professional at meeting them. FIA staff can help your business to manage the process successfully by sharing their skills, knowledge and expertise with you.

FIA has worked with a cross section of food and drink businesses across Scotland (mainland and islands) and they have told us that the work we have undertaken on their behalf has improved their product range, their production techniques and their bottom line.

FIA's work on new product development and product reformulation helps businesses to launch new and/or improved products successfully. We use consumer acceptability testing to ensure that products meet consumer expectations prior to being put into full scale production.

Our services for industry:

  • New Product Development
  • Product Reformulation
  • Consumer Evaluation
  • Sensory evaluation
  • Product assessment (not shelf life)
  • Production issues / problem solving
Chill's in water

Pilot Plant

  • Fully food standard production

  • Our Facilities are available to industry as well as students

Abertay Universities Pilot Plant

Cheese Vat

Our Cheese Vat is an FT20 Cheese Vat from Armfield Ltd. It has a 10-litre capacity, used for heating and agitating milk. You can also hold the temperature for addition of a starter culture and rennet, in addition the heating and agitation occurs gradually to accurately ‘scald’ the curd. This cheese vat mimics industrial processes.

Cheese VAT machine


Our retort (Autoclave) is a FT19 laboratory scale portable autoclave for in container sterilisation of food products. It has programmable time and temperature cycles from 30/60 minutes at 115°C to 15/30 minutes at 121°C.

Retort machine

Freeze Drying

Our freeze drier is an Armfield Ltd. FT33MkII Vacuum Freeze Dryer and is considered to be a small-scale replica of commercial-scale pharmaceutical and food production machines. Our freeze drier has an optimum sample size of 1-2 kilos of wet materials.

Freeze drying machine

Spray Drying

Our spray drier is a Mini Spray Dryer B-290 from Buchi GMB. The results obtained from this machine are reproducible powder production at lab scale, have a small sample amount which saves valuable material (> 5 g), has high yields (up to 70%), fast drying process (up to 1 L / h) which means shorter times to optimise formulations.

Spray drying machine


Our Ultra Heat Treatment (UHT) / High Temperature Short Time (HTST) is an Armfield Ltd. Miniature Scale R&D Technology FT74XTS UHT/HTST System, with UHT throughputs of up to 20 l/hr for product and 120 l/hr for CIP and a maximum process temperatures of 150 °C.

UHT machine

Inline Homogenisation

We have two homogenisers, one in-line with our UHT, which is an Armfield Ltd. FT91 Homogenisation unit; features are a two-stage homogenisation with adjustable pressure (600 bar), inline homogenisation for trial quantities and miniature-scale processing and uses scale-down valve technology, which ensures the results are representative of production-scale processing. Our second homogenisation unit is an Ultrasonic homogeniser.

Inline homogenisation machine

Sterile Filling

Our sterile filling system is an Armfield Ltd. FT83 small-scale sterile filling system, which features a working chamber with a controlled, clean environment and facilities to sterilise and control filling. Aseptic filling for sterile samples (when linked to a suitable UHT processing system), N2 headspace evacuation and the filling environment to federal standard 209E class 100 (i.e. meets microbiological safety and pharmaceutical production / filling requirements).

Sterile filling machine

Small Scale Brewing

Our brewing equipment is custom made from Brew-Tek system and is easy on the eyes, but full of features. The BrewFresh Nanobrewery is an elegant way to take your home-brewing game to the next level. The central access design means you are never more than an arm’s reach away from any valves, controls, or lids. The all-inclusive package ensures the only things you need to start brewing are the ingredients for your recipe. Optimum capacity is 50 litres and we have five fermentation tanks for different brews.

Small scale brewing machine

Vacuum and Tray Sealing

Our tray-sealing unit is a Multivac UK T100 Tray Sealer, which allows trays to be packaged in a very limited space and can thus be used in a versatile manner. The semi-automatic traysealers from MULTIVAC are suitable for industrial use - for packaging foodstuffs, medical and pharmaceutical products, and industrial and consumer goods. They seal trays made from various materials, such as plastic, aluminium, cardboard and foamed materials, as well as a large variety of cover films. These machines are suitable for the manufacture of MAP and EMAP packs, as well as the manufacture of vacuum skin packaging. Due to their compact dimensions, they can be used flexibly. The machine can be individually equipped. Maximum output in cycles/min: 3.

Sealing machine

Rheometre (TA)

Our Rheometre is a TA Instument Discovery Hybrid Rheometre and is used to study the flow and deformation of materials. Deformation and flow are referred to as strain or strain rate, respectively, and indicate the distance over which a body moves under the influence of an external force, or stress.

Rheometre machine

Particle Size Analyser

Our Particle size analyser is a Malvern Panalytical Mastersizer 3000 laser diffraction particle size analyser for rapid, accurate particle sizing of both met and dry dispersion. Can measure particle sizes: 0.01 - 3500 µm; Accuracy: Better than 0.6%, precision / repeatability: better than 0.5% variation ; reproducibility: better than 1% variation.

Particle size analyser machine

Texture Analysis

Our Texture Analyser is a Stable Micro Systems TA.XT+ Texture Analyser and it is capable of measuring virtually any physical product characteristic such as hardness, fracturability, adhesiveness, gel strength, extensibility of foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, gels, adhesives and other consumer products. We have two load cells, one 5 kg and the other 50 kg.

Stable Micro Systems TA.XT+ Texture Analyser

X-ray CT Scanning

Our CT scanner, is a shared piece of equipment, but we have been using it for assessing pin bones within fish products, porosity and ingredient distributions of bakery products and differences between manufacturing techniques of cheeses. We are at the beginning of our journey of discovery of this piece of equipment and would welcome any food and drink manufacturer to speak with us about the limitations and expertise within the group.

X-ray CT Scanning

Sensory and Consumer Science Laboratory

  • ISO9000 World Leading Sensory and Consumer Science Laboratory

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Science laboratory
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Scarletts Honey

Food Innovation @ Abertay (FIA) was asked by Scarlett’s Honey Company to provide...

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Whiskey Sauce

The Whiskey Sauce Co Ltd

The Whisky Sauce Company, a Dundee based company whose products are sold in outl...

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Bon Accord juice

Bon Accord

Founded in the early 1900’s, Bon Accord was a family-run soft drink manufacturer...

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Dollar's Deli

Dollar Deli requested assistance to develop a premium hot dog using quality ingr...

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