So, the sucralose thing

#1 (open access, nov 2013) says sucralose is not so inert as previously assumed, and might be toxic when heated. I’ve been sent this from 5 different people, and on the face of it, doesn’t look like alarmist quackery.

Anyone here can shed some light?

paging @rob and @JulioMiles - based on suggestion from another poster.


I’d say ping @JulioMiles and @rob, see if the research they’ve done ever came across this (and if not, I’m sure they won’t object to getting their staff scientists’ opinions). It was published in the last few months, so it may not yet have come up.

At this point I’d assume sucralose is probably locked in for V1 (and in the small quantity, probably reasonably safe), but if this study has weight, it could be a reason to look into alternatives for 1.1, and/or add a warning to the current batch about Soylent modifications involving cooking.


There isn’t very much Sucralose in Soylent. The negative impact it has on your body if it has one at all is probably negligible. You are probably better off eating Soylent rather than having a conventional diet, which contains Sucralose anyway. If Sucralose is proven to be harmful then I’m sure it will be removed in a future iteration of Soylent. But I do think that Sucralose, as well as every other ingredient in Soylent should be intensely scrutinized. Every ingredient in Soylent should ideally achieve a near-perfect level of purity, sustainability and metabolic compatibility as well as collectively meeting 100% of the nutritional requirements of the human body. I personally am not worried about the Sucralose.


My diet does not contain sucralose, don’t know what this “conventional diet” is. If this paper is to be trusted, then you SHOULD be worried about cooked sucralose, even if not about cold processed one.

I don’t remember seeing any note from @rob and the gang about about processing temperature; I assume everything is cold processed, given that many vitamins are heat sensitive.

Living outside the US, this is purely theoretical from my perspective at this moment anyway, but I’m asking the questions now so everything could be resolved by the time I can actually order some soylent :smile:


I was talking about a conventional american diet. Anyway, your attention to detail is definitely appreciated here. Because Soylent is not a baked product I feel pretty confident that any Sucralose in Soylent is not exposed to those kinds of temperatures. But I am looking forward to seeing Rob’s response to these questions and will reserve definitive statements until afterward.


This review seems to be summaries of some of the studies discussed, and largely debunked, previously -

Our processing takes place at or near room temperature.


I balk at any attempts to include laboratory chemicals in my food. I fear that Sucralose belongs in the category of metabolic poison, just like Aspartame.

Of course, the companies that sell this stuff always claim safety, but if nature didn’t make it already, then I don’t think our bodies will “know” how to deal with these chemicals safely.


Nature =! safety. Nature makes lots of things that kill us. To take a leaf from @rob’s blog, “All-natural, fresh, organic, gluten-free scorpion venom would still be quite deadly.”

Scientific laboratories making something intended to go in to people, however, have it written explicitly into their job description “do not make poison; make a useful thing.” Sucralose has been pretty extensively studied. Studies may not be perfect, but “because it’s artificial” is becoming more and more of a fallacy as humans get better at this whole “science” thing. We’re not taking an unknown and hoping our bodies “know” how to deal with it. We looked at our bodies, and then designed something based on the things we do know, to solve a problem more effectively. Or as analogy, is a horse better transport than a car because it’s naturally-occuring?

As far as research bias, I’m pretty sure a great deal of the research provided has been independent, not provided by the “companies that sell this stuff”. Although on the topic of spending money to convince consumers of your product, “big sugar” companies have quite a lot of propaganda of their own.

To address your linked article, I’m aware that everything I’m saying is anecdotal. I was only responding to the assertion that nature implies safety. More research and peer-reviewed science however, is always good to add to the discussion - I don’t personally have the bandwidth or knowledge to reply directly to the information you’ve provided, but I’m sure it merits response by someone who does, and I do hope someone can/will address the concerns contained within.


I’m glad that the Soylent community is passionate and dedicated enough to vet the development process to such a high degree, but I think everyone needs to a but a little bit more faith in Rob and his team.


I didn’t say that all nature-made chemicals ARE safe, I said that chemicals not found in nature probably AREN’T. No enzyme systems have evolved, nothing in the liver or kidneys has ever seen it before, and no one can say without multi-generational studies that it’s not harmful to reproduction.

Unfortunately, long-term side-effects in humans tend to be the only indicator of whether or not a novel molecule is safe, but I for one will not be a human guinea-pig.


At the very least, will we be able to choose not to consume the admittedly small amount of sucralose or will the product be shipped with the ingredients already combined? Logistically, it’s probably far less costly to leave it combined (unless I’m mistaken, which I very well could be), but if there’s even the remotest possibility that we could be given the choice to err towards or against the side of controversy, that would reassure my status as a repeat customer.


It will be combined. At this point, they’ve said that separating out ingredients would cause extra overhead, costs, and delays for the first batch.

Future batches though, it sounds like they’re planning to include something like that.


I’m not happy at all that Sucralose is being added to Soylent. We were told initially that Soylent would contain everything we needed and nothing we didn’t. I would much prefer to add my own sweetener to this product should I decided to do so. I would think that it would be less expensive for soylent to omit this ingredient in producing the product as well ensuring a lower cost to end consumers.

Sucralose is an organochlorine which releases dioxins when heated (don’t forget our bodies are not room temperature so there is no way to avoid heating this chemical if we plan to ingest it,) and the Center for the Public Interest in Science downgraded Splenda from “safe” to "caution."
Sucralose has also recently been identified to alter the gut microflora, which could increase obesity and alter the way nutrients and medicines are absorbed.

I would hope that as Soylent grows, that 2.0 or an available version would not include any artificial sweeteners at all. I don’t consume artificial sweeteners now at all and see no reason to start because of Soylent.


If Rosa Labs went to lengths to obtain a vegan vitamin blend - in order to accommodate a small percentage of people who are vegan… why not accommodate those who prefer not to eat artificial sweeteners? In both cases it’s a personal preference, for perhaps “non scientific” reasons. But if Rosa Labs is going to support one personal preference and not another (arguably more widespread one), what’s the reasoning behind that? According to Psychology Today, only 0.8% of the population is vegan. I couldn’t find an exact number on artificial sweetener avoiders, but NBC News reports Coca Cola is seeing “consumers grow wary of artificial sweeteners” enough to make sales of diet Coke drop. They also refer to a “broad trend” toward consumers preferring natural ingredients. I think it would only play in Rosa Labs’ favor to support that trend.


But 3.2% are vegetarian, and around 10% follow a vegetarian diet when they can. Additionally, 2.8% of the population is allergic to fish. So that’s around 12-13% of the population that would not be able to have the fish oil version.

Not that I’m arguing with you. I’m firmly against artificial sweeteners. I just think it’s weird when people act like the only people who will choose the “vegan” version are vegans.


I am so disappointed to learn that Soylent has sucralose. Unfortunate and unnecessary.


I expect they may well change it in a future version, but don’t care either way myself. I have a two month supply coming, and have no intention of changing or canceling my order based on the ingredients as they stand.

I haven’t yet decided if I will be reordering, again though, not because of the ingredients, but because I have now gotten my DIY soylent up and running smoothly. I ordered as much as I did because I never expected to go the DIY route, and was looking forward to the convenience of Soylent. The last delay pushed me over the edge, so now I have been building my own for a few weeks, and since the initial headache of starting it up is over I don’t expect it will be difficult to keep up with. I have had fun and learned a lot along the way. I look forward to comparing them, and will likely always keep some of their Soylent on hand even if I do sick with my home brew.


it’s not worth spilling your beans before you have given it a test


I really hope that with future versions of Soylent, there is still a version of the product that has everything mixed in. The more people nitpick the various ingredients, the more the rest of us will have to pay for the product due to the increased costs associated with removing the different ingredients and shipping them separately.

I completely understand that people have different priorities here, but I would guess that for the masses, cost is higher up than a relatively small amount of sucralose.


So it seems soylent is finally going to be shipping. I cross my fingers that sucralose won’t be in it.

I would like to reiterate that I do NOT believe consuming this chemical is safe, even in so-called “small” quantities.

Many of the above posters have similar doubts. I believe this warrants attention by those formulating the soylent recipe.

It would seem to me to be a very simple thing to allow the consumer to choose what kind of sweetener to use in soylent, whether anyone considers their reasons legitimate, personal preference, or quack science.

I’d like to try it with pure cane sugar, honey, or stevia.