Rheology Laboratory

Food rheology addresses fluid and structural properties of raw materials, ingredients, and intermediate and final products of the food and pharmaceutical industries. 

Its importance lies in the ability to understand how process variables influence specific textural characteristics, such as pourability and mouthfeel. Parameters are essential for the design and specification of processing equipment like pumps and heat exchangers. Rheological measurements can rapidly determine product quality and serve as a tool for quality control.

Available for contract testing and consulting, our lab helps explain the physical chemistry, molecular-level interactions, and functionality of a food system to solve industry challenges.

Please fill out the submission form to send in samples


Contact Dr. Haotian Zheng, Assistant Professor in Food Chemistry.

Services and Testing Capabilities

Services Offered

  • Mathematic modeling to predict material performance during processing or experimental conditions
  • Process analysis to identify the influence of variables on specific textural characteristics
  • Product evaluation to design and specify processing equipment
  • Quality determination, including final products, ingredients, intermediate products, and raw materials

Fluid Materials

  • Creep
  • Electrorheological measurements
  • Normal force measurement
  • Steady and oscillatory simple shear modes
  • Stress relaxation
  • Tube viscometry
  • Vane method

Solid materials

  • Compression
  • Creep
  • Stress relaxation
  • Tension
  • Texture profiling
  • Torsion
  • Vane method


Rheology Equipment: Anton, Drop, Microscopy, Raman

Anton Paar Modular Compact Rheometer (MCR302) for Bulk & Interfacial Rheology

Controls shear stress/rate, and normal force to measure viscous and viscoelastic properties of ingestibles and tribological properties using cone-plate, tribology cell, and bob-cup. Interfacial shear rheology studies the flow properties of 2D liquid-liquid and liquid-air interfaces using Bi-cone under controlled temperature. Learn more.

Drop Shape Analyzer (DSA)

Analyzes solids and liquids in the wetting and coating processes. The high degree of automation with easily programmable features provides for user-independent contact angle and surface tension results, ideal for quality control. Learn more.

Dynamic Foam Analyzer

Measures the foamability of liquids and the stability of quickly decaying or long-lasting foam based on reproducible foaming and height detection. It also measures the liquid content or analyzes the foam structure with regard to bubble size and distribution. Learn more.

Fluorescent Microscope

Complete CKX53 kit for bright field, phase contrast, and fluorescence observation. Includes trinocular head for camera compatibility 20x, 40x, and 100x objectives for phase contrast, fluorescence illuminator with long-pass filter cubes, LED condenser, phase contrast slider with inserts, dust cover, and power cable. Learn more.

iRaman (Raman Spectrometer)

Uses a high-quantum-efficiency CCD array detector with TE cooling, high dynamic range, and high-resolution configurations to measure from 65 cm-1to 4,200 cm-1. Learn more.

Membrane Filtration

A clean technology that concentrates and purifies food ingredients and substances. The separation process is based on particle or molecular size. Membrane types include ceramic, spiral wound, and flat sheet. Filtration types include MF, UF, NF, and RO. Volumetric flow rate includes cross-flows of 5 to 24 l/min. Learn more.

TAXT Texture Analyzer

Measure and quantify textural and mechanical properties objectively and accurately; assess raw materials, ingredients, excipients, semi-finished goods, etc. Learn more.

Thermo Scientific Vanquish UPLC

UPLC coupled with three detectors (DAD, refractive and charge aerosol) to offer a wide range of applications in liquid chromatography. Learn more.


We allow use of our equipment for external and non-federal customers. Prices are subject to change. Labor charges are included.



MCR 302 Rheometer (Bulk Rheology & Tribology) (Anton Paar) $100/hour
MCR-302 Rheometer (Interfacial Shear Rheology) (Anton Paar) $100/hour
TAXT Texture Analyzer $100/hour
Dynamic Foam Analyzer (Kruss) $100/hour
Fluorescent Microscope (Olympus) $60/hour
Drop Shape Analyzer (for interfacial tension) (Kruss) $60/hour
SDS-PAGE $200/gel
HPLC-DAD/CAD/RI (ThermoFisher) $100/sample
High pressure (100-1500bar) & high shear homogenizers (GEA, Microfluidics, IKA) $100/sample
Particle size distribution & zeta-potential (MasterSizer3000, Malvern Panalytical & Mobius, Wyatt Technology) $100/sample
Raman Spectroscopy (785nm Excitation, Metrohm) $100/sample
Membrane filtration unit (MF/UF/NF/RO; flat sheet/spiral wound/ceramic membranes; 2 – 30 l/h) (Alfa Laval) $1,000/day (8 hours)
Bioreactor (Ralf, Bioengineering, Inc.) $1,000/day (8 hours)
Mini Spray Dryer B-290 (1.0 L / h water) (Buchi) $500/day (8 hours)
Consultation service $100/hour