Alternative Protein Industry – Growing Opportunities

Recently I was talking with my older son, and he told me about the new ChatGPT bot can write “blogs” based on a prompt.  I thought it would be fun to try! My next blog for the Career Center was to be entitled “Engineering Jobs in the Alternative Protein Industry: Opportunities for College Students” – so we put it to ChatGPT.

Here is what it came up with:“The alternative protein industry is growing rapidly as more and more people are looking for sustainable and ethical food sources. This industry is focused on developing plant-based and lab-grown protein sources as alternatives to traditional animal-based protein. As a result, there are many exciting job opportunities for college students who are interested in engineering.
One potential career path for engineering students is in the development of plant-based protein sources. These products often require innovative food processing techniques, as well as careful consideration of flavor and nutrition. Engineers in this field may work on developing new plant-based protein sources, improving existing ones, or finding ways to make them more sustainable and scalable.
Another area where engineering students can make a difference is in the production of lab-grown meat. This emerging technology involves using cells from animals to grow meat in a controlled environment, without the need for raising and slaughtering animals. Engineers in this field may work on developing the technology to grow meat efficiently and sustainably, as well as on improving the flavor and texture of the final product.
Overall, the alternative protein industry offers a wide range of exciting job opportunities for engineering students. These careers provide the chance to work on cutting-edge technology and make a positive impact on the world…..”

I thought it did pretty well.  Now let’s add to the ChatGPT bot information:

My initial interest in doing this topic for a blog was based on the new courses and research going on in the Kaplan Lab at Tufts studying cellular agriculture.  I then heard on public radio about a company (Blue Oceans) making fish sticks and fish balls in a ‘brewery like atmosphere’ from cultivated fish cells.  So, I widened the blog idea to alternative proteins.  It turns out the Chat GPT is right: the industry is huge and getting larger.

The global meat substitute market size was valued at $5,477.7 million in 2020, and is projected to reach $11,230.1 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 7.6% from 2021 to 2030. Another good thing is that meat substitutes are less prone to the risk of food poisoning or contamination as compared to meat products according to Allied Market Research.

There is a lot to learn about alternative proteins.  Here are some resources to learn more about the industry and to find jobs and internships:

So Many Choices!!!  Whatever your protein preferences, the alternative protein space is rapidly expanding and well worth a look!

By Robin Kahan
Robin Kahan Associate Director, Engineering Career Services