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Facilities and Equipment

Food Programme

A number of unique facilities and specialist equipment underpins the Teagasc Food Programme including:

Specialised laboratory facilities including dedicated level 2 and level 3 pathogen containment laboratories, an extensive cell culture facility, a small-animal feed testing facility, an analytical facility which includes UPLC-MS/MS, 2D Nano LC-MALDI-QTOF and Biacore instrumentation and fully equipped microbiology and biotechnology laboratories.

The Teagasc Sequencing Centre contains a range of sequencers to cover genomic and metagenomic studies. These include Illumina NextSeq, Illumina MiSeq, ION Proton, ION PGM and Oxford Nanopore MinIon platforms.

The National Food Imaging Centre which provides state of the art microscopes and an associated image management system to support analysis of food microstructure.

The Bio-Functional Food Engineering Facility supports the development of dairy based ingredients and is specifically designed to support R&D associated with the Infant Milk Formula industry.

The Bioactive Protein Discovery Unit, a world class facility with a proven track record in the purification of antimicrobial peptides. The unit is used for peptide purification, identification, analysis and generation via Ion Exchange, Reverse Phase and Size Exclusion chromatography, mass spectrometry, peptide synthesis and amino acid analysis.

Bioactive evaluation; a broad series of bioassays are available for bioactive evaluation including antimicrobial assays, anti-infective assays, antithrombotic assays, anti-proliferative assays, anti-hypertensive assays, prebiotic/bifidogenic activity, pro-satiety assays, anti-obesity assays and immunomodulatory assays.

Bioactive bioengineering; Researchers in Moorepark are world leaders in the use of bioengineering to carry out structure function analysis of bioactives and the generation of food-grade derivatives of existing bioactives with a view to enhancing activity and stability.

The Flavour Chemistry Facility contains state of the art GCMS equipment including GCxGC TOF MS and GC olfactory analysis and a range of automated extraction techniques (TD/SPME/ITEX). This facility and research expertise are available to support industry in product development, flavour/ aroma characterisation, product matching, and identification of off-flavours (aromas) or taints.

The Nutraceutical Research Facility has expertise in extracting and purifying biologically active components from natural resources, quantifying potential and chemically characterising components via state of the art instrumentation including a High Resolution NMR Suite and Quadrapole Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer.

The NMR suite consists of a 500 Mhz NMR spectrometer with both liquid and HR-MAS probes, which enables semi-solid samples to be analysed. It also contains an LC-NMR facility which allows the rapid determination of the structure of molecules from mixtures of compounds.

Cereal Chemistry Laboratory and Test Bakery Facilities include a mill room, test bakery and dough rheology laboratory that support industry-led research into the use of a range of flours and novel formulations for baked goods and extruded snacks.

The Meat Industry Development Unit encompasses a pilot scale meat facility incorporating a licensed abattoir (cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry); production units for processing and packaging of meat under controlled refrigeration systems and a cooked meats facility (curing, cooking, smoking). Process technologies include Tenderbound TM (hot boning and PiVac), electrical stimulation.

The Tissue culture facility contains the TFRC master stocks of mammalian cells, Microscopes, CO2 incubators, Cryogenic storage system (Dewars), freezers for reagent storage, refrigerators for media storage, biological safety cabinets, centrifuges and an xCelligence system for label-free and real-time monitoring of cell-viability and barrier function.

Moorepark Technology Limited
A key feature of the Technology Transfer activity of the Food Programme is Moorepark Technology limited, a modern pilot plant facility containing the most up-to-date and versatile pilot scale processing equipment, offering services which include: Pilot plant rental, Contract research and development, Pre-commercial manufacture and Technical assistance/advice/support for food producers (www.moorepark.ie).

The Prepared Consumer Food Centre
The Centre contains state-of-art pilot scale processing and packaging equipment which Prepared Consumer Food companies can use for research and development in collaboration with Teagasc and other innovation support organisations. It also encompasses access to modern analytical and sensory laboratories to characterise foods in terms of nutritional, compositional, microbial and sensory profiles allowing complete product and process development. The Prepared Consumer Food Centre