Real expiration vs. official Soylent 1 year expiration date

It appears that I may end up some months with an extra sealed Soylent bag or two. I’m not a survivalist (aren’t they called “preppers” now?), but…I wouldn’t mind stockpiling some extra Soylent - It’s always recommended to keep some extra food on hand in case of natural or man-made disasters, etc.

Canned goods last for years (though not forever), and the disaster-preparedness foods are designed to last for I think for a decade.

My Soylent bags have an expiration date of about one year after the manufacturing date.

But does anyone know what likely is supposed to happen after a year? Or two years, or three years? If I store it somewhere cool & dry for three years, will it be become rancid, despite being sealed, because it’s a natural product with no preservatives?

Or is the bigger concern, and the reason for the expiration date, the eventual degradation of the nutritional value? Since Soylent is designed to be the sole-source of nutrients for subscribers, this would be a key issue for the few that rely on Soylent as their primary food source.

But for emergency use, would most of the needed nutritional value stay intact after three years? Or more? Or would the powdered oils become rancid after about a year?


I am kind of shocked to see that it only has a year in the expiration date. I would think that something like this would last for several years.

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It should if it was 100% sterile and/or 100% dry

My 1.4 has a two-year expiration date. Expiration dates are generally pretty conservative. I’d be comfortable preparing mine at least a year after the date.

I was getting ready to say that I thought it was a two-year expiration, not one.

I double checked my Soylent bags received in early 2015 - They definitely indicate early 2016 as the expiration, about one year from now

Maybe you got an earlier batch? It is definitely two years as of 1.4.

1.4 is brand new, and I just got my shipment today. However, if two of you indicate you have 2 year expiration dates, then 2 years is likely the accurate version. My guess would be that a sealed bag would probably be OK at the 3 or even 4 year point. Hopefully I won’t need to test this hypothesis, though.

The soylent shipped from PA has a 1 year expiration; CA is 2 years.

This is a very interesting piece of information!

Frankly, I’m surprised to hear it can be two years with that powdered oil. The DIY recipes for powdered oil state 1 day as the shelf life. Now, I understand the powdered oil in Soylent isn’t “DIY” so they probably have techniques to ensure longer shelf life, but since they don’t pack the pouches with nitrogen, it’s still hard to believe in those 2 years for me.

I mean, they surely don’t have the 1.4 pouches lying around for 2 years to test that, right? Or is there any other method by which the shelf life can be objectively determined quickly?

I would just like to clarify a few things (I was tired when writing that post):
I based that generalization off of a very small sample size (
Though it would be interesting to see if that held true for more people!

I wonder what the difference in formulation is between the soylents?

It might also be a matter of state regulations, or a difference in packaging.

The oil, for example, lasts much longer without contact to oxygen. So if you vacuum-pack, or if you flood the bag with nitrogen gas (displacing the normal air, which has oxygen), then the sealed bag will last much longer.

So many variables.

But, for shelf-stored items, the expiration date is usually a “freshness” date, up until which the flavor can be guaranteed, as opposed to refrigerated items, where the expiration date is based more on food safety.

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From the USDA website, "A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.

Not always so. I understand you might be referring to raw meats when you talk about food safety, but plenty of other refrigerated items are safe much longer than the expiration date would indicate.

From USDA’s Safety after date expires page, “Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly.”

Whereas it does not apply to Soylent, most manufactures err far on the side conservative estimates, because 1) food manufacturers want you to use their product when taste optimal, and 2) they want you to purchase their products more often.


Yes, accelerated shelf life testing is possible. By storing the product at higher temperatures and humidity levels they can extrapolate probable long term effects.


I stand corrected - thanks for the info!

Thanks for the lookup/explanation and the link.

i’ve been wondering about this myself.

i had a shipment arrive march 13, 2015 and it had a 2016 expiration date.

i had another shipment arrive march 20, 2015 and it had a 2017 expiration date.

both shipped are from PA. both shipments are 1.4.
i can’t imagine anything substantial changed in the recipe.

so i’m not sure why the expiration date was extended a year.

Both must have been packed my different individuals or machines.

Both shipped from PA? Well there goes my theory about CA and PA having different exp. dates…