About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Algae-Based Ingredient Making Customers Sick: Soylent

by Bidita Debnath on November 8, 2016 at 11:53 PM
Font : A-A+

 Algae-Based Ingredient Making Customers Sick: Soylent

Since its introduction in 2013, the protein drink Soylent has become the go-to food substitute for many coders and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

For $2 a serving, techies too busy to cook for themselves can pour the powder mix into a glass of water and imbibe a nutrient-rich, if bland-tasting, meal. It's like a jock protein shake but for nerds.


Soylent has figured out what's been making its customers sick: algae. Customers complained of nausea and other stomach issues after eating newer formulations of its products. In October, Soylent maker Rosa Foods Inc. stopped selling its powder mix and recalled its protein bars.

The company has been investigating its products since receiving several complaints. The results suggest that algal flour, an algae-based ingredient, could be the offending component, Bloomberg reports. Soylent is now working on a new recipe to swap out the flour.

Soylent got the algal flour from biotechnology company TerraVia, which contests the company's results and maintains that the ingredient is safe for consumption.

"Our algal flour has been used in more than 20 million servings of products, and we are aware of very few adverse reactions. In no cases was algal flour identified as the cause," TerraVia told Fortune. The company added that Soylent's products contain upwards of 40 ingredients, a number of which have "well documented digestive side effects."

TerraVia shares fell 8.1 percent to $1.70 at the close in New York. They had declined 25 percent this year through Friday. The loss of Soylent's business is shaking some investors' confidence, said Jeffrey Osborne, an analyst at Cowen & Co. But he said the startup probably didn't account for much revenue.

Source: Medindia
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Algae-Based Ingredient Making Customers Sick: Soylent Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests