Students are building Brazil’s alternative protein ecosystem from all sides

Young and thriving

Still in its first year as an official Alt Protein Project Chapter, the UFMG APP is making great strides toward a thriving alternative protein ecosystem on its campus and beyond.

In addition to the successful “Segunda Sem Carne” tabling sessions, the chapter’s technical seminar series and recurring journal club introduced many of their fellow UFMG undergraduates and graduate students to the world of alternative proteins. But they’re not stopping there.

Co-founders and presidents Jorge Guadalupe and Ítallo Augusto, alongside education director Julia Nogueira, worked throughout their first year as a chapter to bolster alt protein education at UFMG, seeing it as the crucial next step towards bringing alt protein awareness to the diverse groups that make up their community.

The UFMG APP chapter strives to introduce more students and faculty to alternative proteins through their upcoming course: “Cellular Agriculture with Focus on Cultivated Meat.” Thanks to the UFMG APP’s work, 24 fortunate UFMG students and several faculty members will be among the first in the country to officially engage with alternative proteins in the classroom, through both theoretical and technical classes. The semester-long course will cover a wide range of scientific topics, including “cell culture, cell isolation, and immortalization, bioprocessing, [and] scaffolding,” alongside a few lectures on the growing market of the cultivated meat field.

The course will also feature several interactive components: labs on cell culture, scaffolding, and 3D printing and a competitive “Shark-tank style” pitching contest, where students will develop their start-up ideas and present them to a panel of key industry stakeholders. The UFMG APP team integrated these hands-on components to not only engage students more but to also encourage and equip students from any background to take their education one step further. The industry and research-focused activities will give students the technical knowledge and the motivation to kickstart innovative new research alongside existing and new faculty researchers.

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