Please share your feedback regarding the Soyent Applications Overview here.
Why is there vanillin added? I thought you were going for a more neutral taste that then could be modified by the end user to taste like whatever they wanted it to.
I will get sick of vanilla flavor. How could I modify soylent with flavors that don’t go well with vanilla? I don’t want to have to cover it up.
I am otherwise happy and excited about a month of soylent arriving on my doorstep.
EDIT: The Soylent team says the amount of vanilla and sweetener added is subtle and does not make Soylent sweet or vanilla flavored. It masks the vitamins and fish oil taste. You can still flavor it easily. Cool!
Uhhh… can someone at Soylent please elaborate on using sucralose in the formula?
This is from the nih.gov website…
Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats.
Splenda is comprised of the high-potency artificial sweetener sucralose (1.1%) and the fillers maltodextrin and glucose. Splenda was administered by oral gavage at 100, 300, 500, or 1000 mg/kg to male Sprague-Dawley rats for 12-wk, during which fecal samples were collected weekly for bacterial analysis and measurement of fecal pH. After 12-wk, half of the animals from each treatment group were sacrificed to determine the intestinal expression of the membrane efflux transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and the cytochrome P-450 (CYP) metabolism system by Western blot. The remaining animals were allowed to recover for an additional 12-wk, and further assessments of fecal microflora, fecal pH, and expression of P-gp and CYP were determined. At the end of the 12-wk treatment period, the numbers of total anaerobes, bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, Bacteroides, clostridia, and total aerobic bacteria were significantly decreased; however, there was no significant treatment effect on enterobacteria. Splenda also increased fecal pH and enhanced the expression of P-gp by 2.43-fold, CYP3A4 by 2.51-fold, and CYP2D1 by 3.49-fold. Following the 12-wk recovery period, only the total anaerobes and bifidobacteria remained significantly depressed, whereas pH values, P-gp, and CYP3A4 and CYP2D1 remained elevated. These changes occurred at Splenda dosages that contained sucralose at 1.1-11 mg/kg (the US FDA Acceptable Daily Intake for sucralose is 5 mg/kg). Evidence indicates that a 12-wk administration of Splenda exerted numerous adverse effects, including (1) reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, (2) increased fecal pH, and (3) enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs.
I’m so disappointed I’m almost in tears. You did the thing I never expected you to do. The one thing that makes Soylent into something I very well may not be able to use.
You added an artificial sweetener. How could you have failed to find out, in your research, that many people cannot tolerate these substances? They suffer from nausea, headaches, gas, and diarrhea if they consume artificial sweeteners.
What’s more, sucralose tastes TERRIBLE. It has a nasty, cloying aftertaste with bitterness. I would rather drink straight-up lemon water than a lemonade made with that chemical-tasting trash. I don’t know of anyone who likes the flavor of sucralose. It does NOT taste like sugar at all.
I have been looking forward to Soylent ever since I heard of it, half a year ago. I saw it as a potential answer to my issues with eating a decent diet. I have Myalgic encephalomyelitis, and the energy to prepare fresh food is often beyond me. Now, I might not be able to use the product at all.
Who is responsible for this horrific decision? What on earth were they thinking? To put a chemical into this product that so many people do not like, or cannot handle, is just outrageous.
PLEASE, please, rethink this. You don’t need sucralose. If people want Soylent to be sweeter, they can add fruit juice, or Splenda, or Stevia, or whatever they want… but don’t adulterate this product and make it inedible for a significant portion of the population, for no reason at all!
I’m with wingedwolfpsion on this one. Artificial sweeteners and my stomach don’t get along, even if it’s only a small amount. I would greatly prefer a natural sweetener over an artificial one.
My entirely inexpert opinion is that you should supply the taste-oriented parts (sucralose, vanillin) in a sachet separately, so as to make customisation easier and so as to ease people’s qualms about sweeteners. I don’t know how much Soylent tastes of vanilla (I don’t have any vanillin to experiment with), so I can’t tell whether it might get boring.
Have you considered emphasising umami rather than sweetness? Green tea, for instance, is an umami source off the top of my head which doesn’t contain much in the way of nutrients; or replacing some salt with soy sauce. Or, for repeatability, using MSG. It would probably take a while to implement, though, especially because MSG is perhaps more aggro-inducing than sucralose.
I was surprised by the amount of vanillin (1.8g), I thought this was a typo but after some research it seems that amount is reasonable, though potentially a strong flavor. Does anyone have feedback on how this compares to other vanilla flavored products or what the equivalent amount of “imitation vanilla extract” would be.
Tentatively I would prefer the vanillin not be added so I can opt to add my own flavor, but I am willing to try the product out first to see how I like it. My other concern around vanillin was with migraines, which I do get from “vanilla vodka” (but not regular vodka).
I personally hate sucralose, it coats my tongue with a really nasty “chemical” sweetness that lingers long after I drink something that contains it. Which is why I no longer drink anything that does. However, Soylent may contain such a small amount as to be barely sweet at all - that’s what I’m hoping. I was always a fan of having a neutral taste - no vanilla or real sweetness, in order to modify it as desired, avoiding the monotony of a single flavor. I’m disappointed the team didn’t solicit feedback on this decision.
I really don’t like the idea of daily sucralose consumption, let alone vanillin, without a choice in the matter. I mean, what if I want hot-sauce and bbq flavoring on a particular day? Still, the only thing that would really stop me from being a regular Soylent user is if the sucralose is pronounced enough to be tongue-coating and gross. If not, I can still see using it as a staple.
Sucralose? More like sucraGROSS.
… Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself.
Seriously, though. Although fans of Splenda have sworn to me that it tastes just like sugar, to me Sucralose leaves a very, very unpleasant bitter aftertaste that lingers. If there’s enough in soylent to cause the aftertaste, I won’t be able to stomach a single serving of it, let alone living primarily on it, as I hope to do.
I really like the idea of providing the flavoring separately, or not at all, and just including an instruction along the lines of, “Add sweetener and flavoring of your choice.” (As a fan of savory beverages, I really like Bman’s bbq sauce idea. Hell, one could get really creative with spices and make artisan soylent flavors. Soylent flavor recipes could be a whole new subcategory of DIY soylent!)
I’d intended to up my order from a week’s worth to a month’s worth as soon as I could afford it, but considering how much I loathe the taste of Splenda I think I’d better hold off.
Even with this amount of vanillin it is still possible to change the flavor. In fact the vanillin will enhance flavors like chocolate, cinnamon, mint, and many more. One of my favorite is Mexican chocolate that includes chilli powder, chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla. Now as for drinking BBQ? I’m not too sure about this.
I’m surprised that you added the vanillin. I would probably have argued against it, but it’s not a deal-breaker. You have suggested in the past that the goal for the product was neutral flavor, and this is probably not neutral.
The texture stuff is appreciated. I was wondering about what the consistency would be like if it was just the flours - I imagine it separates pretty quickly and not in an appetizing way.
Sucralose seems like the most reasonable option to mask the vitamin bitterness. For all the people foaming at the mouth about this: please suggest an alternative. Assuming that the product is too bitter to be palatable and they needed to ship with a masking agent, if you look at this objectively you’ll probably find that at best it’s a tossup between 2-3 sweeteners that all have drawbacks.
Note that 60mg per day of Sucralose would translate to at least 19g of sucrose. Glucose would require even more. Fructose not as much, but it’s a major public health concern right now. Other synthetic options (aspartame, saccharin, ace-k) require >60mg and/or have their own health concerns. Most of the sugar alcohols cause bloating and/or have a cooling effect; even with erythritol we’re approaching bloating territory at over 27g per day. Many people will say stevia but my understanding is that no formulation of this is just sweet - you’re getting anise or some kind of lingering bitterness no matter what.
Thanks for the feedback thus far. I’m going to let @rob address the scientific concerns that people have brought up (he’s in meetings this afternoon), but can address the more experiential ones.
I also hate that particular aspect of Sucralose’s flavor, and complained bitterly when earlier samples exhibited that sensation. After some modifications to the levels, the final sample ends up with a very mildly sweet flavor that serves (with great efficacy) to mask some unpleasantness from the vitamix and fish oil, rather than to make Soylent a confection.
The vanillin also serves far more as a masking agent and overall flavor enhancer than as a dominant flavor. At the amount we use, the flavor profiles of the other macro ingredients contribute equally to the overall flavor of Soylent.
That’s definitely a possibility in the future, but would have represented an unacceptably high increase in cost and complexity to this initial manufacturing run.
The problem is, this doesn’t address the issues that people have with being unable to tolerate even small amounts of these artificial sweeteners, due to minor but unpleasant physical reactions - headaches, bloating, nausea, and more.
Absolutely any solution would have been better than artificial sweetener.
I’ve all but stopped drinking hot cocoa due to the (after)taste of sucralose. I’m watching this thread closely to figure out if I need to cancel my order.
If the sweetener’s only there to mask other flavors, and the overall character of the final product isn’t “sweet”, I should be okay. If it’s closer to most soy/almond/rice milk, where the default is maybe 7g of added sugar per 8 fl oz, I’ll probably find it nauseating. (and the “vanilla” versions of those are even worse in my opinion)
edit: looks like definitely less sweet according to the post below
I’m really hoping that sucralose is removed from the recipe. I’ve been so excited about this product for so long, and this is verging on a dealbreaker for me. Can the sucralose be packaged separately?
Glad to hear it’s in a small enough dose to negate the bitter aftertaste. I’m still going to hold off purchasing a full month’s supply until I try it myself, but I’m optimistic.
I personally can’t imagine the vanillin would be a big deal, flavor-wise. Unless they added so much that it could now be described as “Vanilla flavor.” Everything else I’ve seen about the flavor has said they were aiming for a hint of vanilla flavor so subtle that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to detect. Maybe that’s changed and the taste is now overpowering, but I’m not going to assume. In moderation, vanilla really is a subtle flavor that compliments a lot of other flavors. Even many savory ones.
Absolutely any solution would have been better than artificial sweetener.
I mean… they could have used arsenic? I hear that’s sweet…
I just wanted to echo what other people have said about sucralose tasting bad. I’ve found all the artificial sweeteners that I’ve tried, sucralose included, to have a pretty unbearably grody aftertaste.
Found out about this a few days ago and meant to purchase in advanced today after work. Good thing I held off on the impulse because it looks like the formula is going to keep losing authenticity until it’s heath benefits are all but negated…best of luck!
Profoundly disappointed to read that sucralose is being added. I have never met a sucralose-sweetened product I could stomach. Seems like it would have been a better idea to leave the sweetening to the end user, since it’s a matter of taste either way, a wide variety of natural and artificial sweetening agents are easily available, and now you’re limiting your userbase.
I also get headaches from all artificial sweeteners. I understood that the maltodextrin was the primary source of sweetness. How do I go about canceling my order? I have waited for so long and now this late in the game you tell us there is artificial sweeteners in it. A simple google search would have told you the shear number of people that have issues with this type of sweetener.