Cloying sweetness of the sucralose


#1

I just tried Soylent for the first time, and felt compelled to register my distaste. My initial reaction was, wow, this tastes fine! And then the cloying sweetness of the sucralose came. It’s been lingering in my mouth and annoying me for about hour now. I read Rob’s response claiming that the level of sweetener was less than other products, but this did not match my experience.

Taste is very individual, but to me this is sickeningly sweet. I tried adding banana, and then spinach, but neither helped. I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it through more than one bag. I should point out I have no particular health fears about sucralose, I just dislike the way it tastes — strongly enough to register for this forum to share my feedback. Yuck.

I saw that you’ve reduced the amount added to the 1.1 product, but I don’t think this is going to be enough. If you feel you need a sweetener, are there any others you haven’t tried? Maybe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isomaltulose?


#2

While I have no issues with the taste of 1.0, it’s definitely not for everyone. I tried flavoring it with various things, with not a lot of progress made. I found adding more water diluted the sweetness rather noticeably, but you might still not like it.

I also picked up Schmoylent, one of the DIYs available for sale. Despite it having stevia, I can’t taste any sweetness. Maybe check it (or other available powdered foods) out. Assuming you want to stay in the food alternative game.


#3

Whereas I find stevia unpleasantly sweet.

The amount of sucralose has been reduced a lot in 1.1. Most of us here haven’t tasted it yet (I should get some next week!), but I’d try it before giving up on Soylent entirely. (Me, I’m good with the 1.0 flavor, so I’ve ordered some liquid sucralose in case I need it.)

People who find 1.0 too sweet have reported success in cutting the sweetness with 1) unsweetened dark cocoa, or 2) peanut butter (including the powdered peanut butter PB2).


#4

And from what @axcho has said about the unsweetened Schmoylent, I would imagine the little bit of stevia in the regular Schmoylent makes a big difference even though it doesn’t taste sweet. I can see there being a level of sucralose in Soylent that helps cancel out the bitter tastes without adding a real sweetness. So, another reason to see how 1.1 is received - the level still in there might not make it taste sweet at all?


#5

This has been the reigning champion of defeating sweetness on the forums.


#6

The 30mg of sucralose in Soylent 1.1 is about as little sweetness as I expect is pracitcal. Getting any closer to the actual taste of those “powders and potions” that make it up would, I think, be pretty hard to take. I am guessing they used sucralose because it is so widely accepted, used and approved. Isomaltulose has a lower GI but all the calories of sugar. That makes it a great ingredient for a sports drink, but perhaps not a food replacement where the calories have been carefully allotted.

Some have mentioned stevia, which I have used in very specific situations, but I find pure stevia has quite an offensive aftertaste. The commercial stuff I have used adds a modifier of some sort to attenuate that. The closest I know of to the taste of sugar without the added calorie and GI load would be erythritol, but while fewer than with any other polylol, there are legitimate cases of intestinal irritation with it. There is also a non-trivial price difference.

So if you need some sweetness and flavor to mask the raw materials, and you want to be useful to the largest number of people and eliminate as many “grown” materials as possible, you could be forgiven for ending up with sucralose and vanillin.


#7

I tried Soylent for first time and I can’t taste any sweetness at all. I wonder if it depends on smell because I can’t smell at all.

In fact, Soylent is nearly completely tasteless for me. Which is great.


#8

It is loads better in 1.1! And dark cocoa does help with the 1.0, but it still bothered me enough to stop having Soylent. I would give 1.1 a shot and maybe sell or return your 1.0 you can’t stand it.


#9

All right, I’m drinking some 1.1.

1.0 was definitely sweetish, but I liked it. 1.1 really isn’t sweet to me at all. I added a drop of sucralose in a 2 drops = 1 tsp sugar formula, to about a pint of 1.1, and it’s barely, barely, barely sweet. Might add two drops to my next pint (or even try a bit of actual sugar, which I don’t have any of in the house right now).

I’ll wait to see how someone who finds 1.0 to be way oversweet responds to 1.1, but I think you won’t have the problem with it.


#10

I would be one of those and I can definitely say 1.1 is a definite improvement in that department. I wonder if others like me feel the same way. Guess we will find out as more folks get the new formula.


#11

That’s true, you did just say you disliked 1.0’s sweetness enough to stop! Good to know.

In another topic, someone said they squeezed the juice of one lemon into a pitcher of 1.0 and both eliminated the sweetness, and found it mixed better.


#12

Isomaltulose has a lower GI but all the calories of sugar. That makes it a great ingredient for a sports drink, but perhaps not a food replacement where the calories have been carefully allotted.

I was thinking of it differently: a food replacement seems like a case where adding calories is not a problem, and a natural tasting, low glycemic, full-calorie sweetener would be a great choice. But yes, it would need to be as a reformulation, rather than an after-the-fact additive.

Note to anyone doing a DIY: If you are creating a formulation and want to avoid artificial tasting sweeteners, try out isomaltulose (branded as Palatinose) instead of sucrose, glucose, or fructose. Relatively expensive, but few other downsides, and much better tasting (in my experience) than erythritol, xylitol, sucralose, aspartame, Ace-K, saccharine, fructose, or stevia. I’d put it somewhere between sucrose and dextrose in flavor — which is to say, really good compared the alternatives.

So if you need some sweetness and flavor to mask the raw materials, and you want to be useful to the largest number of people and eliminate as many “grown” materials as possible, you could be forgiven for ending up with sucralose and vanillin.

Yes, defensible and understandable, although it doesn’t work for me personally. I’d be interested in knowing how large the “can’t stand sucralose” population is. It tastes strikingly bad to me. There are easy tests for sensitivity to different bitter compounds (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BEZ5KJQ/), with large variation between populations. Have any such studies been done for sucralose? Maybe I’ll try to test it the next time I have a large group of friends over.

Anyway, if anyone really liked the previous version and wants to trade their Soylent 1.1 for my sweeter 1.0, contact me if you’d be interested in trading a case. I’d also consider swapping a few packages for a high quality DIY made without non-nutritive sweeteners.


#13

I also think its sweet. Its like I’ve already had a dessert. Maybe thats a good thing but yea, this sweet taste is still in my mouth. I wasnt expecting it to be this sweet. It might be fine as long as I dont get tired of it. For now I want to stay on less than 25% soylent diet.


#14

I don’t understand why you would add sweetener by default.

If I wanted sweetener in my food, I would put sweetener in my food.

Soylent is supposed to be a basic, customizable food.

I can’t customize it if you’ve already added sweetener to it.

What are you going to add next, salt and pepper?


#15

I think it would be nice to have a little more salt in there.


#16

Not if it tastes too salty, though. Salt is about the easiest, cheapest thing to add or take on the side.

They seem to be trying to adjust the sweetener to be as neutral as possible, but some people seem more sensitive to the sucralose flavor than others.


#17

I think a little bit more can be added without it becoming salty. Also not just because of the taste, nutritionally too salt is less in it. People can add it but i feel it wont occur to a lot of them.


#18

I realize that nutritionally it’s light on salt. This isn’t likely to be a problem for anyone who only replaces some meals with Soylent, and for the rest of us–I’d really, really rather take my salt on the side than drink salty Soylent. (I actually like salt so taking it on the side is pleasant enough.)


#19

True.

But a possibility exists where quite a number of people among those who replace only some meals with soylent…could eventually step up to 100%. And for those people, it could be a problem in the long run.