Skip to content


At the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences on our Brackenhurst Campus, we have four unique laboratories dedicated to analysis and research. These are used for practical sessions such as Nutritional biochemistry, nutritional content of food, DNA gel electrophoresis, nutrient content of water and soil extract, as well as for student and staff research.

Student working in the food laboratory at Brackenhurst

Dedicated food processing laboratory

Students studying on a related course use the food laboratory for anything from packaging equipment to dairy processing and modifying food products for a specialist diet.

Equipment includes:

  • packaging equipment such as modified atmosphere control, vacuum packer and canning equipment
  • cheese vat, cheese press, cream separator, ice cream machine and a pasteuriser to aid with dairy processing skills
  • large capacity proving oven with the ability to create various humidity and temperatures
  • spray dryer which turns liquid into powder.

Microbiology and DNA laboratory

The microbiology and DNA laboratory is used for practical lessons and research such as DNA and fruit fungal analysis.

Equipment includes:

  • -80 degree centigrade freezer for storage of extracted DNA samples
  • transilluminator for the visualisation of DNA bands in gel electrophoresis
  • various incubators for culturing class 1 organisms
  • colony counter which automatically counts and identifies colony growth on cultured plates.

Chemistry laboratory

The chemistry laboratory has equipment to aid with finding the nutritional content of food such as soxhlet (fat content), kjeldahl (protein content) and bomb calorimeter (gross energy).

It also has equipment for environmental analysis such as:

  • Dionex Ion Chromotography for water and soil analysis (e.g. nitrates, phosphates, ammonia and potassium)
  • Agilent Gas Chromotograph to identify pesticide residue in soils and fatty acid analysis
  • Thermalox Total Organic Carbon analyser to identify the organic and inorganic carbon content of waters. This is often used for monitoring run off from the peatlands into river systems.

General laboratory

Having been newly refurbished, our general laboratory provides a dedicated area for research to take place at the same time as teaching.

It houses equipment such as:

  • texture analyser which uses pressure to determine the breaking point of bones
  • Jenway Flame photometer to detect the calcium and potassium content of water samples or soil extract
  • Beckman Coulter laser diffraction particle size analyser to identify the particle size of soils and sediments
  • ELISA plate reader which can find progesterone in milk, cortisol in saliva, the phosphate content of soils and more
  • sedimentation channel to investigate the formations of river beds.


  • Category: Learning tools and spaces; Research; Science including labs; Food and drink; Teaching facilities; Animal/Veterinary
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418