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Our Mission is to provide high-quality scientific analyses for individuals, research teams and companies to meet their food and bionutrition needs

Food, Nutrition, and Human Performance (FNHP) Core Facility

The Food, Nutrition, and Human Performance Core Facility at Drexel University, managed by the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP), is an interdisciplinary clinical and applied sciences laboratory that provides quality services in clinical and applied measurement and biomarker analyses for the Drexel University research community and beyond. We have scientists with extensive experience in nutrition and metabolism research who can offer research expertise and assistance for basic science and clinical research, as well as help develop research protocols for your project specific needs.

Service Request Form

Once we receive your request, we will review and contact you if additional information is needed. Once we are ready to proceed, we will provide you with a quote and follow up with the next steps. You may contact us at any time via our email

Examples of applications that use our Core Services:

  • Chronic disease prevention across the life cycle
  • Genetic and behavioral determinants of food intake and physical activity across the life cycle
  • Micronutrient enhancement of hormonal homeostasis
  • Retail food safety challenges to provide safe, healthy foods to communities of vulnerable populations
  • Analyses of how racial and ethnic minority populations handle food and the effect on their risk for food safety
  • Identifying modifiable behaviors that can serve as targets for efforts to prevent the development of obesity during infancy and early childhood
  • Community nutrition and chronic disease prevention

Who can use the Core Labs?

Our first line of service is for individuals who require assistance with services like nutrition counseling, dietary analysis, fitness assessments, biometric assessments, etc.
Our second line of service is to Universities and Non-Profit organizations that work on research projects needing biomarker analyses, protocol development, biometric assessments, etc.
Our third line of service is for commercial and industry customers who are looking for high-quality scientific development and analyses of their food, beverages, and other nutritional products.

  • Individuals & Teams: For those looking for evidence-based measures to evaluate their body composition, athletic performance, fitness levels, dietary intake, etc. We have the instrumentation to evaluate and personnel to assess and provide nutrition counseling and/or dietary analyses. We also welcome inquiries from fitness and sports groups.
  • Institutions & Non-Profit Organizations: For investigators who have a research project that requires accurate bio-sample analyses, assistance with research protocol development, equipment training, quick and accurate results. We also offer group training sessions through workshops.
  • Industry & Commercial: We offer a variety of high-quality testing including nutrition profiles, chemicals, and bacteria analyses, for the agricultural, meat, food, and beverage industries. We also offer guidance on which battery of tests would be best suited to evaluate your claims.

Food Lab

The Drexel Food Lab is a faculty-mentored interdisciplinary research group solving real-world problems in product ideation, product development, and recipe development. The lab designs affordable food products and recipes that meet three focus areas: sustainability, health promotion, and food access.

Food Lab


  • Biomarkers in blood, saliva or urine samples can be analyzed. These include but, are not limited to serum cholesterol, C-reactive protein, hormone, vitamin, and some mineral concentrations
  • Food analyses for total Calories and fat, protein, carbohydrate, vitamin, and mineral content
  • Clinical and applied measurements, such as measuring resting metabolic rate, maximal oxygen consumption, bone mineral density, body composition, activity levels, food intake and dietary analyses, etc.
  • Dietary analyses can be completed by collecting dietary intake and analyzing dietary intake using high-level programs
  • Nutrition counseling can be conducted by registered dietitians who will work directly with clients to discuss the dietary analyses and work on nutrition goals for better exercise performance and health
  • (Coming soon) Equipment training and assistance with protocol development


Each service request is subject to many factors that will affect the final cost. Listed below are rough estimates for select services.
The Core spans multiple locations totaling over 4,200 sq. ft of lab space. Between the Center City campus and Science Center campus we have the following specialized labs:

  • Drexel Food Lab
  • Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory
  • Exercise and Nutrition Metabolic Laboratory
  • Running and Gait Analysis Laboratory
  • Bone Analysis and DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) Laboratory
  • Community Nutrition Laboratory
  • Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Laboratory
  • Metabolic Kitchen and Sensory Laboratory
  • Private Consultation and Nutrition Counseling, Anthropometric Measurement and Biomechanics Laboratory
  • Blood, Urine and Saliva Collection Rooms
  • Food Microbiology Laboratory
  • Specimen Storage, Cryo-storage, and Incubator Storage Space
Biochemistry and Microbiology Lab Services
ELISA x 96 plate well (40 samples w Duplicates)
Single nutrient Analysis: Gluten,
Vitamin analyses (10 Samples)
Food Calorie Analyses (Bomb Calorimeter) (10 Samples)
Hormone Analyses (40 Samples)
Ionized Magnesium / Calcium Analyses (25 Samples)
Food Macronutrients (Fat) (10 Samples)
Food Macronutrients (Protein) (10 Samples)
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (25 Samples)
Assistance with Analytical Development and Design (5 hours minimum)


Food Lab and Culinary Services

Food Product Consultation

Plan Visit
Nutrition Label (software analysis)
Shelf Life Study (quality, recommended sell by)
Sensory Studies (consumer panel)
Sensory Studies (descriptive / expert panel)

Qualitative Focus Groups

Product Formulation
Product Optimization

Biochemistry and Microbiology Lab Services
Exercise energy expenditure (1 session)
Resting Metabolic Rate + Substrate Oxidation (1 Session)
Body Composition (bone mineral density, lean body mass, fat mass) using Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) (1 Session)
Body Composition using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) (1 Session)
Detailed Physical Activity Assessment (weekly) (1 Session)
Retinography (1 Session)
Preparation of Study Meals (1 Session)
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (25 Samples)
Indirect Calorimetry (1 Session)
Brain Imaging-Functional (1 Session)
Nutrition Consultation (3-day diet analysis) (1 Session)
Follow-up visit with a Registered Dietitian (1 Session)
Waist Circumference (WC) Measurement (1 Session)
Skinfold Measurement (single or multiple sites) (1 Session)
Standard Breakfast (weekly)
Standard Lunch (weekly)
Standard Dinner (weekly)
Standard Snack (weekly)
24-Hour Dietary Recall + Consultation (30 minutes)
Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs) + Consultation (30 minutes)

The Team

Arun Headshots

Arun Ramakrishnan, PhD

Associate Director of Laboratory Services
Kavitha Penugonda, PhD

Kavitha Penugonda, PhD

Associate Director of Laboratory Services
Jonathan Deutsch

Jonathan Deutsch, PhD

Director of Food Lab
Nyree Dardarian, MS

Nyree Dardarian, MS, RD, LDN

Director of Center for Nutrition and Performance