The Food Processing and Development Laboratory

The Cornell Food Product Development Lab (FPDL) is a 6,000 sq. ft. pilot plant that serves as a statewide center for food and dairy processing education and training, product development, and cutting edge food processing research.  The facility is ideal for manufacturing test runs or of new formulations, producing consumer samples, and shelf-life testing samples on a scale that mimics real production.


The FPDL is a licensed NY State Dairy plant and meets all state and federal regulatory requirements for processing food for human consumption.  It is equipped with a wide selection of pilot-scale equipment with capabilities including drying, evaporating, HTST and Vat pasteurizing, separating, and packaging.  The FPDL also maintains a cheese making area with various equipment.  Experienced full-time professionals are able to assist in all aspects of development and processing. 

Who We Support

two people work mixing product in a large lab

Artisans and Companies

The FPDL provides support for companies and artisans seeking to establish or test products on a small scale, as well as to experiment with the latest cutting-edge technology and processing methods.

Male and female students in white lab jackets and hair nets standing around a metal table testing ice cream

Academic Research

The FPDL serves as a stage for cutting-edge food science research into dairy science and processing. Additionally, the FPDL is used as a teaching site for the next generation of food scientists.

Ice cream produced in the Stocking Hall food lab.

Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs

The FPDL offers services to clients seeking to test food concepts or prototypes, as well as offering expertise in food safety and production optimization.


Pounds of cheeses produced in the FPDL during 2021


Cornell faculty supported in 2021


External clients served in 2021

Contact Information

Robert Ralyea, General Manager

Food Processing & Development Laboratory
190 Stocking Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-7201
Phone: 607-255-7643
Fax: 607-254-4868
Email: rdr10 [at] (rdr10[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Mackenzie Brown, Lead Technician

Food Processing & Development Lab
B90 Stocking Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Email: mb2269 [at] (mb2269[at]cornell[dot]edu)