AltMeat: Product Design of Plant-Based Foods

ENGIN 183C-001 · Challenge Lab · 4 Units

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The market for plant-based products is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years as more consumers seek alternatives to meat, dairy, seafood, as well as plant-based food ingredients. This class is a hub where students closely interact with entrepreneurs, companies, venture capitalists and plant-based organizations, acquiring a holistic view of the plant-based food space. Students learn the principles of food science applied to the design and production of plant-based foods. Working in teams, they'll tackle industry challenges to design real novel plant-based products. Emphasis is given to the design of healthy, minimally processed foods, based on locally available raw materials. Graduates of the program have created new companies and/or work in leading plant-based companies.


Photo of Ricardo San Martin

Ricardo is an inventor and entrepreneur in chemical and biological sciences. As a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation, Ricardo teaches at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and is the Co-founder of the Alt.Meat Program at UC Berkeley. Ricardo was also the Founding Director of the Master of Design P. at the Universidad Catolica de Chile. Ricardo has a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the Imperial College London and has a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley.


Sarah is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Keasling Lab, UC Berkeley where she is working on engineering polyketide synthetases (PKSs) to bio-manufacture small molecule monomers that can be polymerized into recyclable 3D plastics. With a chemistry and chemical biology background, her focus has been on chemically and genetically modifying natural protein structures for advanced material functions. During her Ph.D. in the Francis lab at UC Berkeley, she studied the impact of sequence modification on intrinsically disordered proteins’ self-assembling properties to develop a new class of bioderived and biodegradable protein-based materials with unique functions.

Alt: Meat Lab

This class is part of SCET’s Alt: Meat Lab. The Alt: Meat Lab is a hub connecting students, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and industry leaders interested in creating the plant-based food of the future. First and foremost an academic resource, the Lab aims to research and educate. Led by Dr. Ricardo San Martin, the Lab works in conjunction with — but independent from — various partners on projects that put the Lab on the front lines of our changing culinary landscape. Although the Lab began its work replicating animal meat, the Lab is broadly interested in all types of animal products, including but not limited to eggs, dairy and seafood. The Alt:Meat Lab is housed at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, and is comprised of the Lab and a course.



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