Pilot Plant

Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center

The Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center (pilot plant), provides the University of Minnesota with excellent food product research and teaching facilities. The primary goal of the center is to provide a teaching and research infrastructure for the department, and to provide our students with the ability to work and conduct research in an operating production facility. The facility is available to industry to provide process and product development support. Additionally, it can provide a vital resource for food companies that are just starting-up, or are evaluating new process and product lines. The use of the facility by industry partners provides opportunities for our students, as well as much needed revenue for maintenance and acquisition of equipment. The facility is inspected by the State of Minnesota and is certified as a food production facility. The milk pasteurization equipment is inspected and sealed to provide legally pasteurized milk, so products produced at this facility can be sold or used in market research.

The Center includes specialized equipment in the areas of dairy and cheese processing, twin-screw extrusion, aseptic/ESL processing, and various concentration operations (membrane processing, spray and fluidized-bed drying, centrifugation). The faculty and staff who operate the Center are available for consultation and assistance in development of novel processes and products, or simply for evaluation and analysis of samples or prototypes.

By being housed in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, other services and collaboration opportunities can be accessed that include biological and biochemical testing, flavor research, sensory evaluation and taste panel services, and microbiological testing.

Pilot Plant Equipment and Rental Fees

Prices effective 07/01/22 - 06/30/23

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Cheese Vats

1 cheese vat
Kusel2,000 lb$218.55
Damrow5,000 lb$253.24
Nu-Vat 800lb$204.03
scherping cheese vat
Scherping2,500 lb$1,350.61


Cheese Processing Equipment



Damrow batch process cheese cooker
Damrow Batch process cheese cooker40 lbs$394.77


Blantech small batch process cheese cooker
Blantech Batch process cheese cooker10 lbs$394.77


scherping cheddaring belt
Scherping Cheddaring belt200-300 lbs./hr.$1,350.61


Ice Cream Freezers



tetra continuous ice cream freezer
Tetra Hoyer SF 600N Continuous ice cream freezer120 gal./hr.$499.10


taylor Soft serve ice cream freezer
Taylor Soft serve ice cream freezer4 gallon$394.77


Other Dairy Equipment



Vane butter churn
Vane Butter Churn300 lbs$394.77


Westfalia Separator2,000 lb/hr$285.20



IMG_0787.JPGWestfalia Decanter2-3gal/min$737.59


Sharples Decanter
Sharples Decanter1 gal/min$590.89





univat jacketed tank
Univat Jacketed Tank50 gal$170.75


70 gal agitating portable tank

70 Gallon Portable Tank

Agitation, no jacket

70 gal$204.03


150 gallon tank
jacketed tank with stirrer150 gal$206.00


cherry burrell refrigerated tank
Cherry Burrell Refrigerated tank200 gal$400.00






mini panda homogenizer
Niro Soavi mini panda homogenizer100ml/min$218.55


gaulin homogenizer
Gaulin Homogenizer60 gal./hr$218.55


Homogenizer Gaulin	125 gal
Gaulin Homogenizer125 gal/hr$300.50





Pasteurizer Cherry Burrel
Cherry Burrel Pasteurizer4,000 lb/hr$437.09


UHT/HTST Microthermics
UHT/HTST Microthermics1 to 3 liters/min$1,803.00


Spray Dryers



spray dryer Coulter
Coulter spray dryer90 lbs water/hr$1350.33


Spray dryer SPX Anhydro
Spray dryer SPX Anhydro20 lbs water/hr$984.82





UF system-plate & frame DDS-20
UF system-plate & frame DDS-2010 liter tank$382.46


UF/RO unit PTI 2-4",1-8"elements
UF/RO unit PTI2-4",1-8"elements$591.22

Users of the UF equipment listed above will supply new membranes.

Other Equipment

 Mix Processing System, Includes:
Vat pasteurizer
Surface cooler
50-100 gal$525.00


piston volumetric filler
Piston Volumetric Filler32 oz$218.55


Agglomerator Glatt
Glatt Agglomerator3 lb.capacity$204.03(per hour)
 Bar former- Imperial Design50 lbs./hr$981.44


Coating drum Spray Dynamics
Spray Dynamics Coating Drum2 lbs/min$474.96


Batch enrobing drum
Custom Batch Enrobing Drum3 ft3/batch$204.03


Desludging centrifuge decanter Westfalia SB7
Westfalia SB7 Desludging centrifuge3-5 L /min$732.12


Drum dryer Buffalovac
Buffalovac Drum Dryer6 inch drums$394.77


Evaporator single effect C.E. Rogers
C.E. Rogers Evaporator- single effect200 lb./minimum$437.09


extruder 1

Buhler Twin Screw DNDL 44 Extruder

extruder 2
75-100 lbs./hr.


(Labor Included)


Hobart food chopper and cutter
Hobart food chopper and cutter10 lb. bowl$176.00


Fruit feeder APV Crepaco
APV Crepaco Fruit feeder35-45 lbs/hr$204.03


Fitzpatrick Hammermill
Fitzpatrick Hammermill5lb. Hopper$204.03


colloid mill
Fryma Colloid Milladjustable gap$394.77


ribbon blender
Strong Scott Ribbon blender 100 lb$291.75


Almix mixer Tetra/APV
Tetra/APV Almix mixer30 gallon$952.85


Additional Information

The listed prices are reflective of the charges to outside users of the equipment furnished by the Department of Food Science and Nutrition.

Storage of materials generated during pilot plant trials will be charged storage fees, at the rate of $0.05/lb per month, for refrigerated storage.

To schedule use, please contact Ray Miller at 612- 624-7776. Scheduling must be done two weeks in advance.

Labor Charges

Student help - $38.78/hour  

Plant Manager - $106.00/hour 

Mitchell Maher - $80.00/hour

Dane Sekerak - $47.75/hour