FOR YOU TO PRACTICE FOOD SCIENCE WE HAVE SOME LABORATORY APPLIANCES

Katalyst Kitchens is not only a food business incubator, where you can cook your recipes, prepare your food products for delivery, learn from experts in food and agriculture, and attend networking events together with other food entrepreneurs just like you. It is also a place, where you can do food science! And we have (probably) all the essential equipment for you to get started.
That's right! At our premises, we have some scientific equipment and appliances for you to verify the quality of their products, conduct some basic laboratory tests, and experiment with food innovations. All these are available in our laboratory corner, which we had already displayed at the Katalyst Kitchens Grand Opening event in October 2021. The laboratory is the main outcome of the project "Ecological product innovation lab at the Moldovan Agrifood Business Incubator", which we had implemented in collaboration with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague and with financial support coming from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Challenge Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
Now, what can you find in the Katalyst Kitchens laboratory corner? And what can you use the available equipment and appliances for? Let us give you a brief narrative 'tour'.
First of all, what laboratory is it without a microscope? So, certainly, we have one. You can use the microscope to visually verify the quality of your fruits, vegetables, seeds, and/or nuts, as well as check them for any signs of pests or diseases. You can also use the device for your trainings, workshops, and masterclasses to display magnified images of food products, since the device can be easily connected to the projector installed in our conference space.

If you want to break something, like nuts or seeds, down into little pieces, you can use a laboratory mill. This may be needed if you need to do, for instance, a chemical analysis of those nuts or seeds or to test them for humidity with other laboratory equipment. The mill may also be handy if you want to make some cereal ingredients out of nuts and/or seeds.

Another simple yet handy tool you can find in our laboratory corner is a nitratometer. With this little gadget, you can measure the level of concentration of nitrates that may be present in different food products and in this way determine whether those products are safe for consumption. Just do clean well the measurement rods of the nitratometer, or you might get rather surprising results.

Going further to more advanced and truly scientific equipment, we have a refractometer. This device is designed for refractometric analysis, namely for measuring the refraction index of various liquid substances. So, if you are working with juices or oils, for example, then you can use the refractometer for assessing and determining the quality of your products.

If you need very high precision in your food analysis and experiments, then you would appreciate the availability of a precision capacity scales in our laboratory corner. These are electronic scales with precision of up to 0.0001 g, which operate on the principles of gravimetric analysis. You can use the scales in the Katalyst Kitchens laboratory corner to prepare very precise amounts of food ingredients and to work with them in your food experiments.

Talking more about measurements, we also have a couple of psychrometric hygrometers with slightly different scales. These devices serve the purpose of measuring relative humidity, temperature, and the dew point of air. Hence, you can set up a hygrometer in your food storage chamber and with it keep an eye on moisture content of the air in that chamber. This, for example, can help you prevent any mold from forming up on your stored products.

In relation to storage and subsequent packaging of food products, you are welcome to use our autoclave. This machine generates saturated steam under high temperature and high pressure for a prolonged period. In food industry, an autoclave is commonly brought in for sterilizing glass and metal containers as required by health and sanitation standards for packaged foods. So, feel free to make use of our autoclave for pasteurizing and packaging your delicacies. Also for decontaminating knives and other small utensils a special sterilizer can be is available

One more appliance that should be helpful in packaging your products is a universal packaging machine. This is a device that can seal any food product hygienically in one go. You can use the machine to pack your products quickly with an extra bonus of extending their shelf life by up to 3-5 times.

Last but not least, just like in any other scientific laboratory, we have a rich variety of proper glassware to do some food science. Namely, you can find here graduated cylinders, beakers, test tubes, burettes, pipettes, stands, and drying racks for all of them. And for you not to stain your clothes while doing experiments we also have some laboratory clothes to wear.
In sum, this is what we have in the Katalyst Kitchens laboratory corner at the moment. All the equipment have been purchased based on recommendations from local food experts and researchers from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. However, if you need any additional tool or appliance and consider this piece of equipment worth having in our laboratory corner, please drop us a message to info@katalyst.md. And we will try to make your wish come true.

All in all, welcome to the Katalyst Kitchens laboratory corner, where every day is a good day for food science!
The project "Ecological product innovation lab at the Moldovan Agrifood Business Incubator" and the laboratory as part of it are organized by Katalyst Kitchens and the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Challenge Fund with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
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