Preservatives needed?


So, almost done my first month of official 1.0 … and it occurred to me: Prepared Soylent doesn’t last quite long enough for my liking before spoilage. I haven’t had an instance yet where I’ve needed to have Soylent last longer than 48 hours, but if I did, I fear there may be the opportunity for potentially dangerous (albeit entirely common) pathogens to use the nutrient rich Soylent brew as a breeding ground. The more I think about this problem, the more I’ve started questioning: Why doesn’t Soylent have preservatives? It seems to me that adding preservatives would increase the overall safety of the product… and make the lives of those taking it easier in the long run.

Also, INB4 anti-preservative propaganda.


Bonus question: Would a controlled fermentation of Soylent be safe?


They may not add preservatives because some people are squeamish and/or sensitive to them. I’ve had the same thought. If you want to add your own I recommend any of these.


I, too, would be interested if anyone knew what the result of fermenting Soylent would be. Usually when you take something awesome and ferment it, you get something double-awesome. Could Soylent be double-awesomed?


Interestingly, I’ve been contemplating that partially fermented soylent might be less of a rancid-fart-generator, due to the fact that it’s already partially breaking down.


If you need it to last longer than 48 hours, then don’t make the whole pitcher at a time. Make as much as you need for the day. That’s why they include the scoop. Is there any reason that that would not work for you?

The preservatives would have no nutritional value, and as it was stated before, some people have allergies to them. And additionally, adding preservatives would increase the cost. On top of that, it would only benefit a very small set of use cases; it would serve no benefit to people the vast majority of the time.

The powder itself has a shelf life of 2 years, dry.


@malove2play Thats assuming you get brewer’s yeast to land in your Soylent and not something harmful like e colii, salmonella, or clostridium botulinum.


Yes, because it presumes I’m always going to be aware of what might happen in advance. Sometimes plans might change… and a jug of soylent might wind up sitting in the fridge for a few days longer than it should… perhaps life gets so busy that one wants to pre-mix a week’s worth of Soylent and stock up their fridge… if the entire point of soylent is to free yourself of the burden of food, would it not logically follow that having a short time limit on that food might be problematic? Also, the scoop doesn’t help portion out oil. The biggest reason I never use the scoop to make single servings on the go is 'cause the oil is 24hrs worth and I have no way of measuring it properly for smaller servings.

I’m curious though:

  • How much would preservatives really increase the cost?
  • Are preservative allergies a documented medical condition, or just nocebo?


4 teaspoons is a single serving’s worth of oil. That should let allow you to properly utilize the scoop.

I think you might be an edge case. I’d recommend either looking to add your own preservatives or try freezing it.

This question I’ll have to leave for people who know more/better than me.

I can’t think of a source at the moment, but I’m fairly certain some of the preservatives have documented allergies. There might a preservative with no known allergens, but that would have to be considered when picking a preservative.

I personally don’t feel comfortable with adding preservatives, as I favor a minimally optimal Soylent. I probably would convert fully to DIY if they adopted it, and I imagine I wouldn’t be alone.


Friend of mine is allergic to sulfur-derived preservatives, and I’ve heard it’s not entirely uncommon (though hers are particularly bad). It’s anecdotal, of course, but she has numerous times had something, felt terrible, and didn’t find out until later that it had sulfur derivatives in it, which would greatly reduce the likelihood of it being nocebo effect.


true, but isn’t that something to be a addressed in any form of controlled fermentation?


I was also worried about knowing how much to prepare ahead of time so I tried just mixing it on demand. I mix a scoop at a time and drink it immediately.

Just add one scoop of Soylent and two scoops of water to a glass and stir for 60 seconds, then add a couple of teaspoons of oil and stir for another 60 seconds. Then drink it immediately. This is the most convenient for me. I don’t find that I need to refrigerate it or let it sit without oil, etc, etc, for it to taste good. Stirring with a spoon works for me to smooth out the grittiness.

It’s also nice that there’s no pitcher or extra container to clean!


Yes it is. I just wonder if Mudder’s Milk tastes good.


Thanks. An anti-spoilage preservative is something I too have wondered about, for the unmixed powder as well as mixed. Clearly some folks are anti-preservative so this is NOT something RL should add. However for those of us whose lives have a a lot of spontaneity, it seems a reasonable risk.

Can you expand on how these wine stabilizers are suitable for Soylent and suggest other options?


The Sodium/Potassium Metabisulfite drive all the oxygen out of the soylent preventing bacteria from getting established and Potassium Sorberate prevents them from reproducing.

Star San is a good non-toxic no rinse sanitizer for whatever your going to store your soylent in. It kills the microbes by lowering the PH of the water below a level they can survive in. It can be stored in sealed bucked for quite sometime and remans effective as long as the PH of the star san/water solution stays below 3.7. Always clean your container BEFORE you sanitize. There could be an invisible layer of food particles that the bacteria can hide behind.

PBW is a non-toxic cleaner that will remove any invisible deposits there may or may not be on your soylent bottle. Its good if you don’t want to run the dishwasher and just want to clean the container.


I second (third?+) this notion. I still try to eat meals with my girlfriend when she’s around and only drink soylent when I’m left to my own devices. I was wondering why I had such a hard time consuming my soylent before it spoils, and I realized that almost NOTHING else only lasts two days. I realize that this is because we’ve stuffed everything we eat with synthetic preservatives, but surely some of these must be harmless and useful?

If I could stretch a batch of soylent out to just twice the current shelf life, or even a week, I’d be a much bigger fan!


If you could pour it into a freezable container, you solve your problem. The microbes that do almost all of our food-spoiling simply don’t function when it’s that cold.

Leftover Chinese soup containers and similar things may work. The gaskets in the Takeya may not work well when they cool in the freezer if you put the Takeya sideways - I haven’t tried.