A food pilot plant was opened at Massey University in 2008. This is designed and run under strict Risk Management Programme guidelines expected in a modern food manufacturing plant. The pilot plant serves as a facility for teaching students traditional and new processing techniques for today’s food manufacture.

Food manufacturers use this pilot plant for cost effective trials on new product formulations. This includes a separate room that can be hired for confidential work. Staff and students use the pilot plant for research projects, often sponsored by the food industry.

All work in the pilot plant has the support of skilled technicians and scientists with expertise in all aspects of food manufacture.

Food Innovation Network

FoodPILOT entrance

The New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) is an national network of science and technology resources supporting the growth and development of New Zealand food & beverage businesses. The network offers services to all sizes of businesses by providing facilities and the expertise needed to develop new products and processes, from idea to commercial success.

The network is made up of four hubs: FoodPilot(Palmerston North), FoodBOWL(Auckland), Food Waikato and SouthIsland. The FoodPILOT provides the engine for small start-up companies that cannot afford their own gear. The FoodPILOT is ideally suited for making a large number of variants of a new product in a short time but using process and equipment identical to full scale as much as possible. Once a product is optimised and shelf life, food safety and manufacturability are all proven, it can be scaled up to the FoodBowl or FoodWaikato for the first commercial runs or perhaps for consumer testing.

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