Facilities & Resources

The CASS world-class laboratories offer an innovative approach to research, teaching and learning. CASS works collaboratively with other research groups in other disciplines across Deakin University and internationally, giving us direct access to capabilities of world class research facilities and expertise.

Our state-of-the-art facilities and resources

The CASS world-class laboratories offer an innovative approach to research, teaching and learning.

CASS is home of a state-of-the-art ‘green’ sensory laboratory located at Deakin University, Burwood. The laboratory comprises of:

  • 17 fixed individual sensory booths and 6 portable booths to allow for on-site testing.
  • Capability of n=23 consumers per sitting.
  • Fully equipped kitchen and preparation area.

The CASS Food Research Centre boasts state of the art separation science capabilities.

  • Solvent-assisted flavour extraction (SAFE)
  • Static Headspace Analysis (HS)
  • Solid-Phase Microextraction (SPME)
  • Automated Liquid-Liquid Extraction (LLE)
  • Olfactometry Detection (GC-O, MDGC-O)
  • Mass Spectrometry for flavour analysis (GC-MSD)
  • Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for pesticides and pollutants analysis (GC-TOF-MS)

Our researchers have more than 20 years of experience in food, flavour, pesticide and multi-residue analysis (e.g. EPA 8270).

We are world-renowned for our expertise in MDGC and GCÎGC analysis and have unique capability to implement these high-resolution technologies as required.

CASS Food Preservation  facility  comprises of:

  • Freeze drying
  • Modified atmospheric packaging and gas  composition analysis
  • Analytical: Texture, colours, brix
  • Kitchen facilities for product development

Having food safety concerns? At our laboratory we can perform microbial food testing to detect foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms or perform microbial enumerations. We can also undertake challenge studies or perform shelf-life testing. Our research is also focussed on assessing the efficacy of ‘natural’ antimicrobials against common foodborne pathogens.

Our consumer insights room provides a space for focus group and consumer discussions. The room is equipped with four cameras to capture audio and visual movement of participants, two TVs, a projector and a whiteboard.

Using humans as analytical instruments to describe the sensory characteristics of a product, the CASS Deakin trained panel provides flavour profiles for our industry partners. The panel consists of n=8-14 screened and trained engaged assessors. Each member of our panel has over 200 hours of training and testing experience. We have worked on fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, rice, infant formula, meat, beauty and personal hygiene products including toilet paper!

 

One of our largest assets is the CASS Consumer Database, which lists around 2,500 members. Our diverse panellists are always eager to assist in our latest research projects.

By taking advantage of our large consumer database, we are able to rapidly recruit consumers of your product.

Online sensory and consumer data collection tool that assists with managing sensory and consumer tests, whether they are centrally located, in-field, or at home.

The software is supported on a wide range of devices (iPads, mobile phones, tablets, computers and laptops), browsers and operating systems, and has the capability for participants to complete online tests at anytime, anywhere. Tests are also able to be conducted in a wide range of common languages.

CASS sees the implementation of ‘green research & teachings’ as a way to both reduce our environmental impact and create awareness in the next generation of scientists and teachers about working in an environmentally and sustainable manner – so watch this space for information of our greening efforts.

At CASS, we are also aware that laboratories (including our own) are resource-intensive spaces that require high levels of energy to function. This is why at the beginning of 2017, CASS approached the Sustainability at Deakin University to help with our ‘green’ efforts of becoming an environmentally conscious and sustainable laboratory. By February 2017, the Green Lab pilot program was launched to improve the sustainability of Deakin labs. And we are proud to announce that in August 2017 CASS was awarded the first Green Lab certification in the University!

As part of the Green Lab program and green efforts, CASS has implemented more sustainable practices that have and will continue to:

  • reduce energy consumption and related carbon emissions
  • reduce waste
  • maintain equipment to maximum efficiency
  • conserve resources
  • lead to more sustainable purchasing
Sustainability at Deakin - watch now