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Seafood Demonstration Lab

Seafood Demonstration Lab

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About the Seafood Demonstration Lab

Photo: SPDL BuildingLouisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter Seafood Processing Demonstration Lab (SPDL) is the state’s only seafood-focused facility, housing commercial food processing equipment for training, demonstration and research purposes. The goal is to help potential and existing seafood processors explore opportunities and new concepts for processing, packaging and value-added seafood products.

Focused on commercial fishermen and processors, the lab:

  • Provides training and outreach on food safety and sanitation to help implement effective good manufacturing practices.
  • Creates new business opportunities for fishermen by offering alternatives to low-priced commodity sales. Products created and developed at SPDL add value to both the fishery and the industry—improving resiliency.
  • Provides opportunities to interact with state-of-the-art processing equipment to learn best practices and determine investment potential.
  • Extends quality and enhances appeal and availability of seafood products by demonstrating new types of processing and packaging methods, increasing off-season sales potential.
  • Aids in research efforts by providing a space for preparing samples by LSU and AgCenter faculty and other partner institutions.
  • Acts as a seafood hub to assist with the redevelopment and restoration of processing facilities in the devastation zone and beyond.

The lab boasts the following equipment:

  • Image: Seafood Demo Lab interiorVacuum pack machine with gas flush
  • Meat grinder
  • Fish skinner
  • Shrimp splitter
  • Meat band saw
  • Meat mechanical separator
  • Countertop vacuum pack machine
  • Floor and countertop scales
  • Flake ice machine
  • Slurry nano-sized ice machine
  • Commercial meat smoker
  • Stainless steel worktables
  • Three-compartment stainless sink
  • Hand washing sink
  • Multiple freezers
  • Mobile seafood quality training lab (seawater chilling unit, brine freezer, plate freezer and small vacuum packing demonstration unit)

By providing hands-on training on a variety of equipment, even the smallest operators can obtain real-world experience in a cost-effective manner. This allows local fishermen and processors to commercialize their product as well as understand the minimum federal and state requirements for safe handling of the product.

To learn more about the facility, contact Thomas Hymel at [email protected], or Evelyn Watts at [email protected].