Why not replace sucralose with glucose?


why not replace sucralose with glucose?


no matter what they do, someone will bitch, it tastes good might as well leave it alone


I have no answer for you but this looked interesting to me…


I ask for health reasons. I don’t mind sacrificing taste for a healthier product. Glucose is what our body and brain want and metabolise safely, sucralose is an artificial sweetner that we don’t fully understand yet. Why take the risk of going with an unproven molecule?


This is not as simple as you might think. Glucose as a pure chemical

is commonly commercially manufactured from cornstarch by hydrolysis via pressurized steaming at controlled pH in a jet followed by further enzymatic depolymerization

(Oooh, icky chemicals!) What you think of as table sugar is mostly sucrose. Yes the artificial sweetener in Soylent could be replaced with sucrose or some combination of that and fructose, but there are lots of people who get very negative about sugars in general. Add “sugar” to Soylent and you would have probably get mobs with pitchforks outside the corporate HQ.

Plus, all the 'oses cause sharp glycemic reactions. Soylent gets some of its carbs from isomaltulose, which is a sugar that is digested more slowly and doesn’t have a high GI. Adding pure glucose or fructose for sweetening would give Soylent a worse GI, which is an issue for diabetic users.

Soylent regular 2.0 and 1.8 have a neutral flavor, not really sweet. The small amount of sweetener is needed (I believe) mainly to mask the bitterness of some other ingredients (vitamins). Using sucralose for this seems reasonable to me. Sucralose has been extensively tested, although there are some indications of effects on the gut biome in large quantities (same link).

Other meal replacements with sweeter flavor profiles, like Jimmy Joy, Huel or Super Fuel “Vanilla” or “Chocolate” flavors, need more sweetening to taste right. They have to use some artificial sweetener to get the flavor right without kicking the carb ratio or GI to the moon. Super Fuel uses monkfruit extract, and I think it works very well. Soylent could use that, I don’t know why they don’t. Maybe cost? Because sucralose is made in such huge quantities it must be cheaper than monkfruit extract.


Thanks I appreciate the info,

I mentioned glucose specifically as a replacement and not sucrose to avoid fructose molecules.

even if they avoid glucose for fear of high GI, why not replace sucralose with maltodextrin?
is it not sweet tasting enough?


Good luck getting answers to your questions. I hope that some staff-person has time to play “ask the Soylent encyclopedia” with you. I think that answers to your questions can be found in Soylent documentation.


There are a number of threads on sucralose, and why it was chosen. If you use the search function, you might find a few that interest you.

My guess is because the flavor profile would be radically different if they used glucose. I know you said you would be willing to sacrifice taste for a healther prodcut, but 1) science hasn’t shown sucralose to be unhealthy, and 2) a majority of people probably wouldn’t want a less-tasty Soylent.


Soylent does contain maltodextrin. Quite a lot, actually. It is the second ingredient listed for Soylent 2.0, only behind water. It is the fourth ingredient listed for Soylent 1.8.

This is what Rosa Foods (and other companies) are up against. There are tens and tens of people who complain about maltodextrin in Soylent. Some competitors boast they have less/no maltodextrin, unlike evil Soylent. Then on the other side, you get tens and tens of people who complain about sucralose, and that it should be replaced with more maltodextrin.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. :see_no_evil:


yep just like i said, too many noisy snowflakes out there, just let soylent do its job, if you dont like the product, shut up and move on


To add to the points in this thread, using either maltodextrin or glucose (which have 400 calories per 100 grams) to replace sucralose (which is calorie free) would completely change the macronutrient profile if you wanted to achieve the same levels of sweetness.


Yes, maltodextrin is not sweet enough. I don’t know what the exact comparison is, but if you look at the ingredients of any sugar substitute packet, you will see that the actual artificial sweetener is cut with maltodextrin. This is because the amount of things like sucralose or aspartame required to get the same sweetness as a teaspoon of sugar is absolutely tiny. It is so small, that people would have a hard time getting it out of the packet. So they cut it with enough maltodextrin to get closer to that teaspoon. Now, consider this: If maltrodextrin had significant sweetness, why not just put only that in the packet? I have not actually tasted pure maltodextrin, but I was under the impression that it is barely sweet at all.

As far as the glucose question goes, most of the answers are right, but a few things were missed. The biggest reason to avoid glucose is precisely that it is the primary sugar used in the body (note, however, that the body can also derive energy from fructose and from ketones generated when fat and protein is broken down for energy). The human body is not designed to consume glucose directly. (Ignore the “it’s a chemical” arguments. Even water is a pure chemical. Everything is chemicals. If you want to avoid chemicals, you are going to have to stop eating, breathing, and drinking anything. What matters is how chemicals interact with the body, not the label.) The human body is designed to consume things that can be slowly converted into glucose by the body. The worst case that does not have significant potential for harm is consuming carbs and sugars that take a long time to break down and convert into glucose. This provides an inherent level of regulation, preventing dangerous blood sugar spikes. Ideally, blood sugar will barely increase at all after consuming food, remaining close to the same low level constantly. When this happens, the body can regulate sugar uptake into cells very efficiently using insulin. The best case is to consume foods that the body can easily regulate entirely on its own. This is mostly limited to fats, though limited amounts of protein can be regulated easily as well. Fats take a long time to break down, but more importantly, the body has nearly complete control of the conversion from fat to glucose, which allows it to keep blood sugar extremely stable. The reason stable blood sugar is so important is that our insulin mechanism was not designed to control blood sugar. It was designed to control uptake of sugar from the blood into cells. The liver is designed to control blood sugar (and other things that might be in the blood). It uses insulin as an indicator for when blood sugar is high, and that is when it starts converting it into fat and storing it. When insulin is used to control blood sugar, the body’s cells start changing how they respond to it. At first, they get hyper responsive. They start taking up more glucose from the blood than they originally did for a given amount of insulin. This is a sort of “stock up in times of plenty” kind of mechanism, and when it gets severe it leads to hypoglycemia (constantly low blood sugar, because the cells are quickly taking it all when any insulin is released). This does not last forever though. When there is always plenty, eventually the cells will stop trying to take advantage of it. In fact, too much sugar in the cells over long periods of time can be a bad thing, so eventually they become hypo responsive to insulin. In other words, for the same amount of insulin, they absorb less sugar than they originally did (this is called insulin resistance). This leads to constantly high blood sugar, otherwise known as type 2 diabetes. The body tries to compensate by releasing more insulin, but at this point, the liver is the only organ responding fully, and when it sees insulin, it starts storing sugar as fat. And this is why diabetics tend to be overweight.

Artificial sweeteners are complicated. It turns out that while they don’t increase blood sugar, they do invoke an insulin response as if they had. This can be a factor in getting diabetes, but it is not as bad as things that cause real spikes in blood sugar, like glucose. This needs more study, because we don’t actually fully understand what happens when there is an insulin response when blood sugar is not high, but it is probably bad. The question is whether or not it is as bad as just eating the sugar would have been. Also the mechanic is important. If the sweet flavor is the main mechanic, that has different implications than if the body is just mistaking the molecules of artificial sweetener as real sugar.

There is one other issue with glucose: Because it causes a very sudden increase in blood sugar, it has unusual affects on some people. My wife gets headaches when consuming pure glucose (doctors like to use a glucose drink to raise blood sugar to test for risk of diabetes during pregnancy). Many people get lightheaded and dizzy from it. In very small amounts, it probably won’t affect most people, but even if it affected only 1%, that is a pretty serious set of side effects. Imagine drinking a bottle of Soylent while driving to work and getting lightheaded while driving. And keep in mind that sucralose is way sweeter than glucose. It would take a lot of glucose to get the same level of sweetness.

Anyhow, that is a more complete answer, at least when it comes to the affect of the chemicals on the body. If you want to learn a bit more about the blood sugar stuff, especially in relation to the difference between carb, protein, and fat metabolism, check out this TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da1vvigy5tQ.