Why not stevia rather than sucralose?


#1

The use of sucralose is the only thing that’s putting me off soylent. Why use a controversial artificial sweeter when you could use stevia? Hell I’d even prefer raw sugar to sucralose…


#2

This is already being discussed a lot, with several points on both sides.


#3

Economics, probably - $60/kg for sucralose, $99/kg for stevia. Also, it’s easier to work with sucralose.


#4

Seems to me the easy solution would be having two lines of Soylent: one with natural sweetener (stevia or raw sugar) and one with artificial sweetener (sucralose). That way you’d be appealing to both sides of the market. One may cost a little more than the other but people will most likely be willing to pay a bit more to get what they want. I would.


#5

They may when it becomes economically feasible and they have their on manufacturing/production center.


#6

Let’s hope so

Meanwhile I’ll keep fine tuning my DIY


#7

Isn’t stevia way sweeter than sucralose? It’s my understanding that you’d only need to use around 1/3 of it or less, which would make it cheaper.


#8

Sucralose is 600x sweeter than sugar, while stevia ranges for 250 to 350, depending on the source.


#9

Perhaps not immediately appropriate here, but this is was a good recent article on the alternative sweetener stuff:

The main issue with stevia is that aside from the sweetness, it doesn’t taste very good. Or at least, it tastes off enough that it’s not really usable in the cola drinks, which I believe are by far the largest consumers of artificial sweeteners.

The fact of the matter is that sucralose is not going to be a problem for most people. I’m certain that if I’m wrong (and thus Rosa Labs is wrong) then the formula will be changed to accommodate the customer base they want to cultivate.


#10

There are many people, such as myself, who cannot taste the sweetness of stevia, instead tasting only bitterness. Additionally, maintaining multiple lines of Soylent would likely increase production costs. I could see it as an option further down the line if they offer customized formulas; but I’d be willing to bet there will be higher prices associated with the offered customized formulas, too.


#11

For supertasters, stevia is blech. Sucralose is just sweet, with a touch of astringent taste without being bitter.


#12

Well it’s enough to put me off buying it


#13

Without even trying it?

I figure if you’re anti-sucralose because you believe it will taste bad, then you should try it first to make sure before writing it off. I can’t speak for you, but I know that my experience with artificial sweeteners is almost entirely via beverages where ‘sweet taste’ is one of the defining characteristics of the drink. With Soylent, the sucralose is supposed to be there to offset bitterness of other ingredients only. It may actually do just that.

If you’re concerned about the ‘controversial’ nature of sucralose, I’d personally like to know where you think the controversy is. Most of the anti-sucralose evidence I’ve seen is either anecdotal (I get migraines therefore sucralose must be toxic), not about sucralose at all (cyclamate, saccharine, aspartame, ace-k, etc.), biased (studies cited are paid for by organizations with a competing interest), or ridiculous (mice consuming 1000% of a human’s recommended intake daily exhibited xyz!).

If you’re just in general opposed to synthetic ingredients - e.g. you’re worried that it might have some deleterious effect we just don’t know about yet - that’s entirely respectable and cannot be argued. I do wonder why you would be attracted to a product like Soylent if that were the case though, because sucralose is not the only synthetic compound in Soylent.


#14

Yes: without even trying it.

Sucralose tastes fine. I just don’t want to eat that crap in every single meal. No amount of bickering in forums will sway that. The simple fact of the matter is this: There IS a market for people who would rather an alternative or natural sweetener. The only question is whether or not that market will be catered to. If not, so be it. However if Soylent does indeed gain popularity, I’m sure some other company will pick up that gauntlet.


#15

So don’t. Nobody is forcing people to buy Soylent. You’re perfectly welcome to adopt your own nutritional preferences.

Eve


#16

Actually I anticipate Rosa Labs will pick up that gauntlet, so to speak. I’m not pro-sucralose, I just think I’m being pragmatic about what choices were made to get an initial product out the door.

Basically, in this case, I don’t think it’s possible to please all the people out of the gate. I think sucralose was considered to be have the right balance of effectiveness vs. controversy. I think we’d be having the same conversation with different participants no matter what ingredient was selected; sugar would be a problem for diabetics and a question for vegans, sugar alcohols cause bloating, other artificial sweeteners have their own controversies, sweetener-free is unpalatable, etc.

I guess I’m just ready to get my Soylent and try it vs. argue about what choices could have been made here in these forums.


#17

The point I was making is that there is interest in a different line of the product and if Rob Rhinehart doesn’t get on it someone else will.


#18

Is it generally agreed that sucralose has no nutritional value, and is only added to Soylent to mask a bad taste? And if so, does anyone have any idea of just how inedibly horrible Soylent is without some sort of sweetener? After all, no one drinks Soylent because they think it tastes good (at least I don’t think I would). If the taste without sweeteners is no worse than mild (moderate?) bitterness, I might try an unsweetened version.


#19

Rob said at one point that without the Sucralose and vanilla, it tastes bitter (from the vitamins) and fishy (from the fish oil.)

While I’m a huge fan of fish, I’m not sure I’d enjoy drinking bitter fishy-tasting goop.


#20

I obviously have not tried it, but I imagine it tasting like an ‘adult’ multivitamin, if you chewed one of those up. With fish oil.

No thanks.