Ep. 024 – A Passion For Extrusion with Deya Suarez Trujillo, Extrusion Engineer at Beyond Meat

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First off, I am loving the diversity of our guests recently. From different ages and genders from all over the world!

The person we are interviewing today fits into this category. Deya is from Mexico and now works for the ever-trending Beyond Meat, where they produce meat substitutes that actually taste like real meat. If you do some research, their process making it (which is proprietary, and won’t be discussed too much here, sorry folks) is pretty fascinating.

You’re going to learn a ton about an interesting process called extrusion, which is a very scientifically complex process that creates really cool products. Basically, you take raw materials, put them into a machine and it pops out a product… that was a horrible description… but if you just google the process on how hot dogs, protein bars, or even how puffed cereal is made, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I used to do some extrusion work in college and at my old job so it was nice to talk to somewhat of a kindred spirit.

However, I think Deya takes it to the next level, she is probably one of the most passionate people I’ve ever seen in a particularly specific subject and you will find out exactly why in this episode

About Deya Suarez Trujillo

Deya was born in Monterrey, Mexico to parents with engineering and food science masters degrees. Their influence and understanding of the teaching method and her mother’s strong belief in leading by example and learn by doing, challenged Deya early in life to take risks and not be afraid to fail, as well as her dad always pushing her to be limitless creative.  Together with her passion for creating yummy food allowed her to excel as a fearless, young engineer, working with heavy machinery, and integrating her work with scientists.

Deya attended university at Tecnologico de Monterrey known for their expertise and innovation with food science, particularly food engineering using extrusion technology.  Additionally, Deya spent a year as an exchange student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  A food protein extrusion program at Texas A&M exposed her to the versatility of combining food and engineering machinery to create a wider range of food products.

This lead Deya to Beyond Meat, a company focused on improving human health, positively impacting climate change, conserving natural resources and respecting animal welfare through the innovation of plant based meat products. There, she leads the extrusion team developing, designing and communicating scale-up technology transfer for manufacturing in the extrusion team. On any given day she can be found working the drill press, creating and testing new die models for product improvement and functionality or testing new sustainable ingredients to help make the Beyond Meat products better. She gets messy, takes chances, develops early proof of concept designs, and executes on time.

Deya rides her bike to work along the beach and enjoys the beach with friends. She loves hiking in the hills above the ocean, painting, watching football, doing yoga and cooking with friends and family (specially Mexican food).

Key Takeaways

  • How Deya got into extrusion technology
  • Why Deya and I love Steve Jobs
  • Why you should be involved in something specific

What We Talk About

Extrusion Engineer
Meat Replacements
Clextral Twin Screw Extruder
Buhler Extruder
Extrusion functionality and reminiscing problems
How to recreate extrusion during the bench sample process
Texas A and M Extrusion Course
Food Science Engineer
Easy-Bake Oven
Techologico De Monterey (College)
Cereal Science
My Food Job Rocks: I do what I love
Beyond Meat
Why Plant protein is the future
Extrusion By Products such as Whey, Fruit Skins, etc
Reducing Food Waste
Favorite Quote:

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
(I have this on my cubicle)

Steve Job’s Autobiography
Favorite Book: The Happiness Track Emma Seppoa
Life’s too Short to Be Stressful
Favorite Food: Mexican Food (Salsa)
Advice for anyone who wants to go in the food industry: Get Ready. Find something unusal that you’re passionate about
Find the experts and go out to find the experts
Invest in your future: You might not have all the knowledge right now, but if you’re surrounded with people who know things but you don’t, learn from them.
Appreciate what you know, and share what you know, and learn other things from other people
My Linkedin Video about Extrusion Processing

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