AltMeat: Product Design of Plant-Based Foods

Challenge Lab

INDENG 185 (4 Units)

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Class Description

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.

Challenge Lab

Challenge Labs (INDENG 185) are classes for students of all academic backgrounds who seek a rigorous, interactive, team-based, and hands-on learning experience in entrepreneurship and technology. This course uses a unique pedagogy, The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship that involves the use of games, industry guest speakers, team exercises, videos and labs to cover the early part of the startup lifecycle. Each Challenge Lab has a different theme. In this highly experiential course, students form start-up teams to create technology solutions or services to address a broadly-defined problem posed by an industry partner or social challenge.


Due to the nature of this class topic, it is highly recommended that students have a strong background in biological sciences, chemistry, chemical engineering or related disciplines. Students from other backgrounds who are interested in the class topic are also welcome to apply as we will form interdisciplinary teams. Unfortunately, we can only admit very few students with a non technical major because innovation on plant based foods is becoming technically very complex. In order to form the class with the appropriate mix of students, all students must fill out an application and submit a resume and 1-page Statement of Intent including why you want to be in the class. If you are interested in enrolling, please submit the application (link below). As we near the start of the semester, the instructor will review applications on a rotating basis and you will be notified via email if you have been admitted or not. If admitted, you will be given permission to enroll.

The application for spring 2022 is now closed.


Celia is a multidisciplinary technical leader with expertise in Chemistry, Food Science, Biochemistry, and Materials Science. She has a breadth of experience in plant-based food technology having worked at Eat Just, and Ripple Foods. Throughout her experience Celia has led an R&D team while driving external academic and industry collaborations in addition to managing intellectual property portfolios.  Celia received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


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.



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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