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Food Technology - Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant

Food industry entrepreneurs can commercialize at UMaine’s Food Pilot Plant

Whether you are an entrepreneur, a farmer, a food processor or a small business transitioning to commercialization, the University of Maine’s Food Pilot Plant may be a resource for you. Located in Hitchner Hall, the Dr. Matthew Highlands Food Pilot Plant offers services to enhance product lines, create value-added foods or scale up recipes for commercial production. The state-of-the-art research facility is equipped with a variety of food processing equipment, including a pasta maker, meat chopper, dehydrator, blast freezer, steam cooker, cheese making equipment and packaging equipment. In addition, the facility contains a state-licensed commercial kitchen that serves as a teaching laboratory for food-science and human-nutrition students, and as a place where home businesses can package and produce food products. In this video, plant manager Michael Murphy talks about the commercial kitchen and some of the equipment available at the plant.

For more information about these and other innovation and economic development initiatives at UMaine, visit


The Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant is a state of the art facility committed to helping Food Processors, Entrepreneurs, Farmers, Researchers and Students in the food industry.  Our equipment and services offer a variety of options for anyone seeking to expand product lines, create value added foods, solve issues in current food products, and scale up recipes for commercial production.  Click here for a list of our processing equipment.


The University of Maine Cooperative Extension together with the research cluster of Food Science and Human Nutrition offer the following services to the food industry:

Price range for use of the pilot plant is $40-$80 per hour depending on the complexity of the project.
For more details please contact the Pilot Plant Manager.

For More Information Contact:
Michael Murphy
Pilot Plant Manager
School of Food & Agriculture
University of Maine
5735 Hitchner Hall
Orono, ME  04469
Phone: 207-581-3139
email: michael.g.murphy@maine.eduNormal hours of operation:  8:00am to 4:30pm
Additional hours for special projects can be accommodated upon request.


Consumer Food Complaints

The faculty and staff in the research cluster of Food Science and Human Nutrition do not analyze foods for bacterial or other types of contamination in response to consumer food complaints.  If you are a consumer and have a food complaint, you should contact the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Division of Regulations at Tel: 207.287.3841.

Copyright © 2010 Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant.  A member of the University of Maine System.

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