Food Incubator
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Welcome to the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator


The LSU AgCenter Food Incubator is a business incubator that specializes in the development of emerging food ventures and providing technical services to existing and emerging companies.

The incubator assists companies survive and grow during the start-up period by providing clients with business support, services and resources. Tenants with the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator also have access to scientists and services within the Food Science Department.

Please direct all inquiries, of any nature, about the Food Incubator to Gaye Sandoz by clicking the Inquire about the Food Incubator button below.

Inquire about the Food Incubator

Please include the name of the product and a telephone number in the Message field of your inquiry.

The LSU AgCenter Food Incubator will nurture, support and sustain new and existing food companies in Louisiana by providing comprehensive educational and technical assistance in all areas of the food business.

With faculty, staff and students involved, the incubator will foster best practices in food technology, production, packaging and safety and become the trusted source for information and guidance for food entrepreneurs and small food manufacturing businesses.

 The food incubator facility layout includes a Shared-Use Processing Area/kitchen and a Resource Center for assistance in starting a new food business.

The Shared-Use Processing Area-enables a broad range of value-added agricultural and food products to be produced such as fresh-cut vegetables and fruits, jams, jellies, soups, sauces, beverages, pies, cakes, breads, seasoning blends, entrees, side dishes, etc. The incubator offers the equipment to successfully prepare, bottle and package food products for the wholesale market.

Sensory Evaluation Center – Sensory evaluation services are available to food companies by request.

Microbiology Laboratory - The LSU AgCenter Microbiology Laboratory conducts analysis of finished products, raw materials, and environmental areas for routine required testing, and assists in the training of clients regarding sanitary practices. Shelf life studies, at different storage temperatures, are conducted for client products, and quantify the impacts of preservation technologies that are utilized.

Analytical Laboratory – The LSU AgCenter Food Science Laboratory performs routine food chemistry testing, including analysis for pH, titratable acidity, salt content, solids content, brix, colorimetry, and other methods deemed helpful to clients. In addition, this lab conducts nutrition analysis testing, and provides guidance to clients.

Training and Education Conference Room - The Training and Education Area will be outfitted with internet capabilities, a conference room for meetings and is available for our food tenants use. This enables our tenants to have meetings or tastings in a professional environment.

Resource Center and Library - The library is a resource to staff and clients alike, providing access to extensive business and technical information. In addition, a computer workstations will be available enable client research and access to the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator.

Administrative Support Area and Client and Staff Offices – The LSU AgCenter Food Incubator will provide office areas that are rented inexpensively to clients. This way, clients have the option to move both their processing and administrative functions into the Center’s facility if desired. Client’s will be provided with furniture and internet access.

Application Process

If you are interested in learning more about our application process, please email Gaye Sandoz to schedule to attend the next quarterly informational presentation. Presentations are given quarterly.

Food Companies that will benefit from the services of the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator will be asked to fill out our short business plan form and a cash flow analysis form. To obtain assistance with a business form or expansion strategy we have partnered with the Louisiana Business and Technology Center.

Costs Involved

We recommend that all companies have a cash flow analysis done with some business expenses saved before applying for our program. You can find information about business startups at

It cost approximately $1500 for fees, insurance and permits to get started in the Food Business.

As a tenant at the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator, you will have access to: 

Commercial Kitchen for hourly rental
Dry, Cold and Pallet Storage
Specialized Processing Equipment-on an individual evaluation
Analytical and Testing Services

Our facility includes a government approved commercial kitchen, pilot plant and ample space for tenant freezer, cooler and dry and pallet storage needs. Other amenities include office suites, wireless internet service, shipping and receiving area and a conference training room that can be utilized for workshops and meetings.

Fully Equipped Kitchen

  • 1 Commercial 4 Burner Range
  • 2 Convection Ovens
  • 1 Tilt Skillets (30 gallons)
  • 2 Steam Jacketed Kettles (40 and 60 Gallon)
  • 1 Hobart Mixers (40 Quart)
  • 1 Hobart Mixer/Kneader (40 Quart)
  • 1 Hobart Chopper/Kneader/Emulsifier (45 Quart)
  • 1 Hobart Slicer
  • 1 Ice Machine
  • 1 Coupe Cusinart Food Processor
  • 4 Stainless Steel Prep Tables
  • 1 electric kettle (10 gallons)
  • 1 electric kettle (5 gallons)
  • Baker’s Racks
  • Small Wares
  • Agitating Kettle (30 gallons)

Pilot Plant Equipment

  • 1-Nitrogen Flash Freezer Tunnel
  • 1-Ice Machine
  • 1-Flaked Ice Maker & Bin
  • 1-Lab Press
  • 1-Adiabatic Oxy Bomb Calorimeter
  • 1-Calorimeter Controller
  • 1-Bucket Filling System
  • 1-Scale Platform
  • 1-Ice Maker Flake
  • 1-Deboner/Separator
  • 1-Machine Meat/Poultry Form & Portion
  • 1-Vacuum Tumbler
  • 1-Air Snip
  • 1-Table Utility/Wrapping
  • 1-Scale Platform
  • 1-Stuffing Table
  • 1-Kettle Stream Jacketed
  • 1- Automatic Batter-Breading System
  • 1-Ice Machine Flake w/Remote Condensor
  • 1-Pump Curing
  • 1-Fluid Extraction System
  • 1-Vacuum Packaging System Double Chamber
  • 1-Vacuum Seal
  • 1-Processor
  • 1-Lab Mixer: Twin Shaft Paddle
  • 1-Tumble-Mixer-Lab Vacuum
  • 1-Grinder: Tabletop
  • 1-Patty Machine w/Mold Plates
  • 1-Semi-Automatic Tray Sealer
  • 1-Compressor: 60HP w/ABSORPTION DRYER

Physical Address:

LSU AgCenter Food Incubator
120 Clyde Ingram Hall
Tower Drive, LSU campus
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge LA, 70803-0100

Mailing Address:

LSU AgCenter Food Incubator
Attention: Gaye Sandoz
LSU Building
Receptionist Desk
Norman J Efferson Hall
110 LSU Union Square
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-0106.

Phone: 225-578-7213

For business planning, contact: Charlie D’Agostino , Executive Director, LBTC Louisiana Business and Technology Center - 2005 National Incubator of the Year

Gaye SandozTOP

Please click on the photo for Gaye Sandoz's contact information.
Please click on the photo for Gaye Sandoz's contact information.
Gaye Sandoz, Director for the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator, has over 35 years in the food business in all areas from food product development, institutional food service management, catering, and is a self-taught chef. Ms. Sandoz graduated with a BS Degree in Nutrition and completed graduate work at LSU and University of Mississippi, studying Institutional Food Service Management. Her expertise and experience for the past 15 years has been largely with new food product development, business development, and marketing with small and medium size food businesses. Gaye owns Clever Kitchen and sells her invention the “Microwave BBQ Chicken Roaster” on QVC.


Please direct all inquiries, of any nature, about the Food Incubator to Gaye Sandoz by clicking the Inquire about the Food Incubator button below.

Inquire about the Food Incubator

Please include the name of the product and a telephone number in the Message field of your inquiry.

Dr. Luis EspinozaTOP

Please click on the photo for Luis Espinoza's contact information.
Please click on the photo for Luis Espinoza's contact information.
Dr. Luis Espinoza
LSU AgCenter Food Incubator Manager and Technical Services

149 Clyde Ingram Hall
office 225.578.3713
Last Updated: 10/13/2014 8:15:01 AM

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