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The Drexel Food Lab is a faculty-mentored interdisciplinary food product design and culinary innovation research lab solving real-world problems in sustainability, health promotion and access

Drexel Food Lab

Drexel Food Lab is a food product design and culinary innovation lab that applies culinary arts and science to improve the health of people, the planet and economies.

We do this through research and programming that help us:

  • Understand consumers
  • Develop new food products
  • Introduce new products to market

In doing so, we not only develop new food products and menu items with entrepreneurs, industry, non-profit, and government partners, but also develop our flagship "product," graduates across disciplines who are poised to improve the food system.

The lab was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, CHE, CRC along with a standout undergraduate student, Alexandra Zeitz. The lab is endowed through a transformative gift from the Octavia Foundation.

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Food Lab Principles:

  • Do Good. Work on projects that improve the food system.
  • Feed Well. Make products that are tasty and desirable to consumers.
  • Keep Going. Develop market-driven, sustainable solutions that can stand on their own.

The lab is open to Drexel students in any program who want to learn about food product development. Students and faculty can engage with the lab in a variety of ways including pursuing their own research or startup projects, extracurricular instruction, or as paid student workers on funded projects. The team brings unique and extensive experience to every project and engagement.


The Drexel Food Lab maintains a client list from start-ups through multinationals and is funded through philanthropic support, government and foundation research grants and contracts, and industry consulting projects.

Select clients include:

  • Start-Ups
  • Saint Lucifer
  • Soom
  • Matriark Foods
  • Reveal (Drexel Alumni Owned)

Established Firms:

  • F&S Produce Co., Inc
  • Race West
  • Amoroso


  • Aramark
  • Bimbo Bakeries USA
  • McCormick


  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Rebel Ventures
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health


  • Upcycled Food Association
  • C-CAP
  • Culinary Literary Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Hope Lodge/American Cancer Society
  • Umami Food and Art Festival
  • Food System Vision Prize
  • Menus of Change University Research Collaborative
  • JBH Advisory Group
  • Current Specialties
  • Sustainable Business Network

Drexel Food Lab Thanks the following organizations for their support:

  • Octavia Foundation
  • Stein-Bellet Foundation Inc.
  • Sembrando Juntos/Grupo Bimbo
  • The Claneil Foundation
  • The Snider Foundation
  • Maguire Family Foundation
  • Dietz Family Foundation