Soylent (drink)

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This article is about a meal replacement drink. For other uses, see Soylent (disambiguation).
Soylent
Soylent.svg
Place of origin United States
Region or state North America
Creator Rob Rhinehart
Invented 2013
  Media: Soylent

Soylent is an open source (1.4–1.6[1]) meal replacement, advertised as a "staple meal", available in both liquid and powdered forms as a beverage, and as a solid-form meal bar. Its creators state that Soylent meets all nutritional requirements for an average adult.[2] It was first created and tested by software engineer Rob Rhinehart as a self-experiment in nutrition. Subsequently, the powdered version of Soylent was developed into the first product line of the company Rosa Labs, which currently markets and sells the formulation.

Rosa Labs states that the current formulation is based on recommendations of the National Academy of Medicine[3] and that Soylent meets the current Food and Drug Administration requirements to be sold as a food.[4] Rosa Labs also states that Soylent includes all of the elements of a healthy diet, without excess amounts of sugars, saturated fats, or cholesterol.[5]

Current versions[edit]

Soylent Powder
Soylent drink.jpg
Soylent powder prepared as a drink
Type Powder prepared as a drink
Course Main course
Creator Rob Rhinehart
Invented 2014
Serving temperature Refrigerated or room temperature
Main ingredients 1.6:[6] Soy Protein Isolate, Isomaltulose, Maltodextrin, Canola Oil, Isomaltooligosaccharide, High Oleic Algal Oil
Ingredients generally used 1.6:[6] Modified Food Starch, Algal Flour, Soy Lecithin, Mono & Diglycerides, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, and other minor ingredients
Food energy
(per 500 ml serving)
1.6: 500 kcal;[6][7] 2092 kilojoules
Nutritional value
(per 500 ml serving)
Protein 25 g
Fat 25 g
Carbohydrate 47 g
Glycemic index 60 (medium)
Soylent Drink (Liquid)
Soylent 2.0 2016.JPG
Bottle of Soylent 2.0 Drink (Liquid) Version.
Type Liquid in a bottle
Course Main course
Invented 2015
Serving temperature Refrigerated or room temperature
Main ingredients 2.0:[8] Soy Protein Isolate, Algal Oil, Canola Oil, Rice Starch, Oat Fiber
Ingredients generally used 2.0:[8] Gellan Gum, Soy Lecithin, Isomaltooligosaccharide, salt and other minor ingredients
Food energy
(per 400 ml serving)
2.0: 400 kcal;[7][8] 1673.6 kilojoules
Nutritional value
(per 400 ml serving)
Protein 20 g
Fat 21 g
Carbohydrate 37 g
Glycemic index 49 (low)
Coffiest
Coffiest.jpg
Bottle of Coffiest.
Type Liquid in a bottle
Course Main course
Invented 2016
Serving temperature Refrigerated or room temperature
Main ingredients Soy Protein Isolate, Algal Oil, Canola Oil, Rice Starch, Oat Fiber, Coffee powder[9]
Ingredients generally used Gellan Gum, L-theanine, Soy Lecithin, Isomaltooligosaccharide, salt and other minor ingredients[9]
Food energy
(per 400 ml serving)
400 kcal (1675 kJ);[9] 1673.6 kilojoules
Nutritional value
(per 400 ml serving)
Protein 20 g
Fat 21 g
Carbohydrate 37 g
Other information coffee-flavored
Soylent Bar
Soylent product 15756-cropped.jpg
Soylent Bar.
Type Food (Meal) bar.
Course Main course or snack
Invented 2016
Serving temperature Room temperature.
Main ingredients Soy Protein Isolate, Corn Syrup, Oat Flour, Canola Oil, Clycerine, Whole Algae Floue, Isomaltulose, Isomaltooligosaccharide Fiber, Oatmeal [9]
Ingredients generally used Creamer, Vitamin and Mineral Blend, Soy Lecithin, Water, Tapioca Starch, Flavrings, Salt, Sucralose, Mixed Tocopherol[9]
Food energy
(per 1 bar (60 g) serving)
250 kcal (1047 kJ);[7][9] 1046 kilojoules
Nutritional value
(per 1 bar (60 g) serving)
Protein 12 g
Fat 10 g
Carbohydrate 30 g
Glycemic index 55 (low)
Other information salted-caramel flavored

History[edit]

On February 13, 2013, Rhinehart detailed his initial 30-day experiment in food replacement[10] on his blog before later sharing the nutritional information and original formula[11] for interested parties. Posts to his blog over the next two months detailed modifications to his personal formula.

These modifications led to a crowdfunding campaign on Tilt that raised over US$3 million[2][12] aimed at moving the powdered drink from concept into production. As of 2016, this crowdfunding campaign remains the most funded food-related crowdfunding project ever accomplished. After the campaign, Soylent had venture capital financing for a seed round of $1.5 million[13] to further develop proof of concept. Media reports have detailed how operations began for Rosa Labs in April 2014, using a relatively small US$500 system to ship the first US$2.6 million worth of product.[14] In January 2015, Soylent received $20 million in Series A round funding, led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.[15]

Prior to June 2015, Soylent was only available for purchase and shipment to those in the United States. On June 15, 2015, it was announced that Soylent would begin shipping to Canada[16] at the same price in US dollars as for United States customers. Expansion to European countries is a stated future goal.

In July 2015, it was announced that Soylent would move its corporate headquarters to Broadway Media Center, located in downtown Los Angeles.[17]

In August 2016, Soylent announced a philanthropic program to donate $0.25 to World Food Program USA for each case of Coffiest or Soylent Bar sold.[18]

Product history[edit]

In the first week of May 2014, the first shipments of U.S. orders of Soylent 1.0 began.[19] There have been subsequent changes, each called a new "version". Since Soylent 1.2 in November 2014, all versions have been vegan.[20] Version 1.4, introduced in February 2015, used a carbohydrate/fat/protein ratios of 43/40/17, made so considering the advice of F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., a professor of medicine at Columbia University.[21] Version 1.5, introduced in June 2015, further adjusted the ratios to 45/40/15,[22] and has a glycemic index of 65 and a glycemic load of 35.[23]

On August 3, 2015, the company announced "Soylent 2.0," which was the first ready-to-drink Soylent product introduced by the company. The pre-mixed product comes in a 400 calorie bottle and debuted on September 9, 2015.[24]

On August 9, 2016, the company announced (and started selling) "Coffiest",[25] which was a combination of the liquid version of Soylent, coffee flavoring, caffeine, and nootropics such as L-theanine.[26] A solid-form, salted-caramel flavored meal bar named "Soylent Bar" was also announced at the same time, and began being sold a week later on August 16, 2016.

Powdered[edit]

Version Changes Date
Soylent 1.0 First full version. Ingredients were finalized in January 2014, which use rice as the protein source[27] and shipments began in April[28] (vegan) and May[29] (regular) of 2014. Early 2014
Soylent 1.1 The sucralose was decreased, giving it a more neutral flavor, and new digestive enzymes were added.[30] October 2, 2014[31]
Soylent 1.2 Omega-3 fatty acid from fish sources was replaced with omega-3 from algae, making the drink suitable for vegans and the enzymes added in Soylent 1.1 were removed.[20] November 10, 2014[20]
Soylent 1.3 Dipotassium phosphate was added and shipping box sizes were reduced.[32] December 11, 2014[32]
Soylent 1.4 Fats were incorporated into the powder that eliminated the need for the oil bottles, resulting in less packaging required in the shipping boxes. It used a carb/fat/protein ratios of 43/40/17, isomaltulose was added and gum acacia was removed.[33] February 25, 2015[34]
Soylent 1.5 Improvements to texture from a reduction to oat flour and an addition of emulsifiers. Removal of powdered safflower and flaxseed oil which were both replaced by canola oil powder, supplementing the existing powdered high oleic sunflower oil and algal oil.[22] June 1, 2015[22]
Soylent 1.6 Uses whole algal flour, high oleic algal oil and soy protein isolate that replaces rice protein. 45% lipids, 20% protein, and 35% low-glycemic carbohydrates, closer to Soylent 2.0 macronutrients.[35] June 23, 2016[35]

Ready-to-Drink[edit]

Version Changes Date
Soylent 2.0 First pre-mixed Soylent liquid product and it alters the carb/fat/protein ratios to 33/47/20; it has a glycemic index of 49.2 and a glycemic load of 16.7.[23] About half of the lipid calories come from algal sources and it uses soy for its protein source.[24] September 9, 2015[36]
Coffiest This product consists of pre-mixed Soylent 2.0 that adds coffee flavoring, 150 mg of caffeine per serving, and 75 mg of the nootropic L-theanine.[37] August 9, 2016[37]

Bar[edit]

Version Changes Date
Soylent Bar First solid-form Soylent product. Introduced with a carb/fat/protein ratio of 43/38/19. Also, has a glycemic index of 55 and a glycemic load of 13.[38] First flavor introduced was salted caramel. August 16, 2016[39]

Origins of the products' names[edit]

Soylent is named after a food in Harry Harrison's 1966 science fiction novel Make Room! Make Room!. In the novel, soylent is made from soya and lentils. The word is, however, most commonly associated with the novel's 1973 film adaptation Soylent Green, in which the eponymous food supplement is made from human remains.[40]

Coffiest is named after an extremely habit-forming drink in the 1952 science fiction novel The Space Merchants, by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth, which gets every customer "hooked for life."[41][42]

Cost[edit]

In April 2013, Rhinehart said he was spending US$154.62 per month on Soylent, yielding a diet of 11,000 kilojoules (2,600 kcal) per day[43] while a diet of medical food such as Jevity would cost US$456 per month for 8,400 kilojoules (2,000 kcal).[44]

Soylent 1.0, which began shipping commercially in May 2014, was supplied in quantities of 7, 14, or 28 bags, with one bag providing "3+" meals.[45] As of July 2015 Soylent version 1.5 powder was available in the US and Canada for US$85 for 7 bags, with a reduced price for larger quantities or having a monthly subscription.[46][47] The lowest cost-per-meal option is the monthly subscription at a cost of US$280 for 28 bags, which calculates to US$10 per day, US$2.50 per meal (at recommended serving size of 4 meals/day), or $3.33 (3 meals/day). The tag line on Soylent's main website states "A full day of balanced nutrition made in 3 minutes for $3/meal."[47]

On August 31, 2015, the price of powdered Soylent version 1.5 dropped 23% of its price both subscription and one-time payments to US$54 and $64 for 7 bags respectively. This means the subscription costs US$7.71 per day for a 2000 kcal diet if consuming exclusively Soylent.[48] The same price breakdown continued for powder version 1.6. The subscription to liquid Soylent version 2.0 costs US$32.30 for twelve 400 kcal bottles, which works out to US$2.69 per 400 kcal "meal", or US$13.45 per day on a 2000 kcal diet if one were to consume exclusively Soylent. The subscription price for Coffiest was introduced at US$37.05 for twelve 400 kcal bottles, or US$3.09 per 400 kcal meal, which is $15.45 per 2000 kcal. The subscription price for Soylent Bar is US$22.80 for twelve 250 kcal bars,[49] or $15.20 for 2000 kcal.

Nutrition[edit]

Soylent 1.6 (Powder) Soylent 2.0 (Liquid) Coffiest Soylent Bar
1.6NutritionFacts.png 2.0NutritionFacts.png Nutritionfacts-coffiest.png Bar Nutrition Facts US REV NC-01.png

Powdered Version (1.6)[edit]

A glass of powdered Soylent after preparation.

The following summarizes the nutrition facts and ingredients for Soylent 1.6 (powdered version).[6] The nutrition facts are based on one serving of 115 grams (4.1 oz).[6] Each Soylent pouch contains four servings.

Soylent 1.6 (Powdered Version) Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 115g Servings per Container: 4
Calories 500
Calories from fat 225
Amount per Serving  % Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 2.5g 13%
Trans Fat 0g N/A
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 380 mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 16%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 15g
Protein 25g
Nutrition Facts (continued)
 % Daily Value
Vitamin A 25%
Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 25%
Iron 23%
Vitamin D 25%
Vitamin E 25%
Vitamin K 25%
Thiamin 25%
Riboflavin 25%
Niacin 25%
Vitamin B6 25%
Folate 25%
Vitamin B12 25%
Biotin 25%
Pantothenic Acid 25%
Iodine 30%
Magnesium 23%
Zinc 25%
Selenium 25%
Copper 28%
Manganese 25%
Chromium 25%
Molybdenum 25%

Ready-to-Drink Version (2.0)[edit]

The following summarizes the nutrition facts and ingredients for Soylent 2.0 (drink version). The nutrition facts are based on one bottle (414 ml).[8]

Soylent 2.0 (Ready-to-Drink Version) Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 bottle Soylent (414 mL) Servings per Container: 1
Calories 400
Calories from fat 190
Amount per Serving  % Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 35%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g N/A
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 300 mg 13%
Potassium 700 mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 9g
Protein 20g
Nutrition Facts (continued)
 % Daily Value
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 20%
Calcium 20%
Iron 20%
Vitamin D 20%
Vitamin E 20%
Vitamin K 20%
Thiamin 20%
Riboflavin 20%
Niacin 20%
Vitamin B6 20%
Folate 20%
Vitamin B12 20%
Biotin 20%
Pantothenic Acid 20%
Iodine 20%
Magnesium 20%
Zinc 20%
Selenium 20%
Copper 20%
Manganese 20%
Chromium 20%
Molybdenum 20%
Chloride 15%

Taste[edit]

Soylent contains soy lecithin and sucralose as masking flavors and to adjust appearance, texture and smell.[50] Rhinehart calls the flavor "minimal", "broad" and "nonspecific".[51] Before version 1.4, vanillin was included as an ingredient for flavoring.[52]

Reviews on the taste of powdered Soylent vary widely. Positive reviewers were "pleasantly surprised" with the "rich, creamy, and strangely satisfying" flavor,[53] or likened it to that of a vanilla milkshake with the texture of pancake batter.[54] Negative reviewers have called it a "punishingly boring, joyless product", "like someone wrung out a dishtowel into a glass",[55] "purposefully bland", "vile" and made the taster "gag"[56] and compared the taste to "homemade nontoxic Play-Doh".[53][57] It has been compared to Slim Fast.[58]

Due to the way in which both powdered and liquid varieties of Soylent are released by version, slight taste variances are introduced in every subsequent version that lead to changes in flavor.

Health effects[edit]

The makers of Soylent claim it contains all the nutritional requirements necessary for a healthy lifestyle, and this claim has been tested and verified independently.[59] There may be social drawbacks of living on a Soylent only diet.[60]

While Soylent may offer complete nourishment, some critics have claimed that it comes at the expense of the emotional pleasures from eating and sharing food. This claim is often countered that most consumers of Soylent do not consume it for 100% of their nutritional needs, but only to replace some meals in the interest of time and efficiency.

Some people have claimed that they experience gastrointestinal symptoms from consumption of Soylent.[61] Speculation on the cause of such symptoms generally centered around the amount of dietary fiber contained in the product which is known to cause such symptoms when diets are abruptly altered to increase amounts of fiber consumption. However, later versions of the product lowered the amount of fiber content and have not as of yet seen many cases reported compared to early versions. The lower fiber content of the product led to additional criticisms of not containing an adequate amount, compared to daily recommendations, leading some to utilize fiber supplementation.

Proposed Proposition 65 lawsuit[edit]

On August 13, 2015, non-profit environmental and corporate social responsibility watchdog As You Sow filed a notice of intent to pursue a lawsuit against the makers of Soylent, claiming that Soylent did not adequately label its product given the levels of lead and cadmium present in the drink. The basis for the lawsuit lies in California's Proposition 65, a law that requires additional labeling for food products containing trace amounts of certain substances. Although Soylent contains levels of lead and cadmium far below the national safety levels set by the FDA, it does contain 12 to 25 times the level of lead and 4 times the level of cadmium allowable in a product without additional labeling as specified by Proposition 65.[62][63] A lawyer who has worked on settlements of Proposition 65 suits described the case as "alarmist" as the levels are well below FDA limits.[64] Soylent's website currently displays the required Proposition 65 warning.[64] As You Sow proposes that, since Soylent is marketed as a complete replacement for all other meals, these levels may be harmful.[62] The claim is of levels allowable concerning reproductive toxicity, which are considerably lower than levels allowable concerning poisoning or carcinogenicity.[65]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1.6 Formula". Soylent FAQ. Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Scutti, Susan (February 18, 2014). "Can Soylent, A New Crowd-Funded Nutritional Drink, Back Its Claims? Eat All A Healthy Body Needs For $9/Day". Medical Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  3. ^ Nutrition - Soylent. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  4. ^ Hutchinson, Lee (29 January 2014). "Soylent gets tested, scores a surprisingly wholesome nutritional label". Ars Technica. Retrieved 11 June 2015. However, the results of the nutrition testing done to gain the label have established that Soylent meets the Food and Drug Administration's standards for a whole raft of healthy claims: "Everything from reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers to absence of tooth decay," said Rhinehart. Based on the testing, he explained, Soylent can make many of the health and nutrient claims that the FDA tracks. 
  5. ^ "What is Soylent?". Soylent. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Soylent Nutrition Facts. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Soylent, Conor. "Soylent Glycemic Data". Soylent FAQ. Rosa Labs. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d Soylent 2.0 (Liquid) Nutrition Facts. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Labs, Rosa. "Nutrition". 
  10. ^ How I Stopped Eating Food. Feb 13, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2015
  11. ^ What's in Soylent Feb 14, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2015
  12. ^ "Soylent - Free Your Body". Tilt.com. Tilt.com. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Crowdfunding Darling Soylent Nets $1.5 Million In VC Funding. October 22, 2013
  14. ^ Alando Ballantyne. "How We Spent $500 on Tech to Ship $2.6M of Soylent". Medium.com. 
  15. ^ Soylent Raises Money. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Soylent : Now Shipping to Canada". soylent.com. 
  17. ^ "Soylent To Relocate Headquarters to Broadway Media Center in Downtown Los Angeles". JLL. 
  18. ^ Labs, Rosa. "How Soylent makes a difference". 
  19. ^ "Soylent Update". Discourse.soylent.me. May 1, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  20. ^ a b c "Soylent : Announcing Soylent 1.2 Development of the Soylent...". soylent.me. 
  21. ^ Nutrition advisor for Soylent. 16 March 2015.
  22. ^ a b c "Soylent : Soylent 1.5 Has Arrived". soylent.com. 
  23. ^ a b "Soylent Glycemic Data". Soylent. 
  24. ^ a b "Soylent 2.0 is coming—pre-mixed, in a bottle". Ars Technica. 
  25. ^ Soylent. "Be a Breakfast Pioneer with Coffiest". 
  26. ^ Labs, Rosa. "L-theanine". 
  27. ^ "Soylent : There is more to food than nutrition. Even a...". soylent.me. 
  28. ^ "Soylent : Soylent Update 4/23". soylent.me. 
  29. ^ "Soylent : 5/1 Shipping Update". soylent.me. 
  30. ^ Soylent gets a version bump to 1.1—new flavor, new gut flora help. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  31. ^ "Soylent : Introducing Soylent 1.1". soylent.me. 
  32. ^ a b Soylent 1.3 Shipping Today. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  33. ^ Soylent 1.4 begins shipping today. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  34. ^ "Soylent : Soylent 1.4 begins shipping today.". soylent.me. 
  35. ^ a b "Introducing Soylent 1.6 Powder". soylent.com. 
  36. ^ "Soylent : Now Shipping Soylent 2.0". soylent.com. 
  37. ^ a b "Soylent Coffee: Nootropics, fat, carbs, protein—but will it give you the toots?". Arcs Technia. Retrieved August 9, 2016. 
  38. ^ Labs, Rosa. "Glycemic Data". 
  39. ^ Soylent. "Soylent Bar Has Arrived". 
  40. ^ Varughese, Ansa (March 15, 2013). "Rob Rhinehart, 24, Creates Soylent: Why You Never Have To Eat Food Again". Medical Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  41. ^ "Soylent's Latest Product Is Basically a Metamucil Frappuccino". 
  42. ^ Richter, Sarah Spigelman. "Soylent's new product is here to disrupt your morning coffee". 
  43. ^ Pomeroy, Ross (April 1, 2013). "'Soylent': Can Man Survive on Goop Alone?". Real Clear Science. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  44. ^ Matthews, Dylan (March 14, 2013). "Rob Rhinehart has a crazy plan to let you go without food forever. It just might work.". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  45. ^ Hutchinson, Lee (September 5, 2013). "Ars does Soylent, the finale: Soylent dreams for people". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  46. ^ "Soylent Website Launch". Soylent. May 5, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  47. ^ a b "Soylent - Free Your Body". Soylent. 
  48. ^ Soylent. "Soylent Blog - Soylent Powder Now Even More Affordable". Soylent. 
  49. ^ Labs, Rosa. "Snack to the future with Soylent Bar". 
  50. ^ "There is more to food than nutrition". Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  51. ^ "Stephen Colbert Taste Tests Soylent... And Finds It Delicious?", Inc. (magazine), June 13, 2014, Rhinehart described the "minimal flavor" as "broad" and "nonspecific" 
  52. ^ Soylent 1.4 begins shipping today., retrieved 20 March 2015 
  53. ^ a b "Soylent survivor: one month living on lab-made liquid nourishment", The Verge, July 17, 2014 
  54. ^ "Soylent Review", Business Insider, July 14, 2014 
  55. ^ "We Drank Soylent The Weird Food of the Future", Gawker, May 19, 2013 
  56. ^ "Mansplain it to Me: inside the Stupid Hackathon for extremely stupid ideas", The Guardian, 8 February 2016, retrieved 8 February 2016 
  57. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (May 28, 2014), "The Soylent Revolution Will Not Be Pleasurable", The New York Times 
  58. ^ Nellie Bowles. "Food tech is just men rebranding what women have done for decades". the Guardian. 
  59. ^ Hutchinson, Lee (29 January 2014). "Soylent gets tested, scores a surprisingly wholesome nutritional label". Ars Technica. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  60. ^ Ziegler, Chris (17 July 2014). "Soylent survivor: one month living on lab-made liquid nourishment". The Verge. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  61. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (May 28, 2014)The Soylent Revolution Will Not Be Pleasurable The New York Times
  62. ^ a b Houck, Brenna (16 August 2015). "Soylent Under Fire For Allegedly Failing to Provide Adequate Warnings On Its Labels". Eater. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  63. ^ "As You Sow Files Notice Of Legal Action Against Soylent Super Food". PR News Wire. 13 August 2015. 
  64. ^ a b Watson, Elaine (17 August 2015). "Soylent case reignites debate over Prop 65: 'It's basically extortion,' claims attorney". Archived from the original on 16 August 2015. 
  65. ^ Hutchinson, Lee (17 August 2015). "Watchdog group says Soylent's cadmium and lead levels violate CA law". Ars Technica. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 

External links[edit]