Soylent blames algae flour for consumers feeling green


In California, popular meal replacement brand Soylent believes it has pinpointed the culprit in a recent spate of customer dissatisfaction: algal flour supplied by TerraVia Holdings, formerly known as Solazyme.

Complaints of nausea and other stomach problems began to emerge over the summer associated with “newer formulations” of the brand, namely powder mix and protein bars, according to Bloomberg Technology. The powder mix is no longer available, while the bars were recalled.

“We are releasing new formulations of our powder mix and meal replacement bars early next year,” said Rob Rhinehart, Soylent’s co-founder and CEO. “Our new formulations will no longer contain algal flour.”

TerraVia, however, maintains algal flour is safe and instead points the finger at Soylent’s use of “known irritants,” such as soy protein isolate and glycerin. “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,” says Mark Brooks, Senior Vice President at TerraVia.