Connections and facilities

Network and Connections

One of the many benefits of working with FoodPilot is the access we have to a wide range of expertise and facilities.  This means you can have a single project that draws in skills from across a variety of disciplines, and that we can connect you to experts in most areas. 

Massey University

FoodPilot is located on the Massey University campus in Palmerston North. We work with the academic and technical staff from across the University.

The Food Innovation Network

FoodPilot is part of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN), a national network that provides the 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), FoodWaikato (Hamilton) and FoodSouth (Christchurch).  There are Business Development Managers located in each region of NZ, who can meet with you and discuss how NZFIN can support your business needs.

FoodPilot is ideally suited for the early stages of a project where the focus is on developing and refining the formulation and process and understanding the characteristics (shelf-life, sensory, functionality) of the product.  Once this phase has been completed, the project can be scaled up to one of the other hubs for the first commercial runs or perhaps for larger scale market validation.


We are also part of FoodHQ, which is a partnership between a number of organisations with interests in the food space.  The membership includes a number of R&D and analytical service providers - Massey University, AgResearch, Plant & Food Research, the Riddet Institute, AsureQuality, ESR and the Cawthorn Institute.  This partnership enables us to pull together the best expertise from across these different organisations for large and complex projects.

Equipment and Facilities

A full list of our equipment is available for download here  FoodPILOT Equipment List (1,104 KB)


As well as the food processing space within FoodPilot, many of our projects take advantage of specialist facilities within our wider network:

Nutrition Laboratory

Nutrition Laboratory – an accredited facility that specialises in the analysis of food, plant and animal products. The Nutrition Laboratory can provide Nutrition Information Panels (NIP) by analysis or calculation based on the formulation.  It is one of the few Ministry of Health recommended agencies offering full nutrition and consultancy services for food labelling.

Food Microbiology Laboratory

Food Microbiology Laboratory - The laboratory is capable of all the standard microbiological tests required by the food industry and has specialist equipment for rapid microbial analysis (flow cytometry and impedance), biofilm work, fermentation and molecular analyses (PCR). The food microbiology laboratories are supported by academic and technical staff.

The Centre for Feline Nutrition and Canine Research Facilities 

The Centre for Feline Nutrition and Canine Research Facilities – part of Massey’s School of Veterinary Science (IVABS) and directed by Assoc Prof Dave Thomas, these specialise in nutritional research with emphasis on palatability testing of complete diets (or individual ingredients) and general nutritional adequacy testing.  Research can be carried out into all aspects of companion animal nutrition, with current projects looking at adding value to a number of different waste streams, the identification and use of novel ingredients, and lifetime nutrition and the optimisation of diets for older animals.

Engineering Workshop

Engineering Workshop – our FoodPilot workshop is well equipped to enable us to modify existing equipment or design and build new items in order to meet specialist requirements.

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