Mechanical engineering applied to various plants and meats can enhance their flavor and nutrition or even make previously unpalatable products delicious. Phillip LeDuc, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, is using his techniques to develop a common tough weed, amaranth, into a product that could relieve hunger in the developing world. And some of LeDuc's students have found a way to substitute avocados for high-calorie cream cheese in cheese cake.

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