- TerraVia announced Tuesday it will discontinue supplying ingredients to Soylent effective immediately, according to a news release.
- Some Soylent consumers experienced GI distress after eating the company's Food Bar product. Amid its self-imposed recall, Soylent targeted the bar's algal flour as the suspected cause.
- TerraVia felt this was a rushed claim that wasn't based on scientific evidence, especially because "TerraVia’s algal flour has been used in more than 20 million servings of products and has never been shown to be the cause of adverse reactions," according to the news release.
Algal flour remains a relatively new addition to the better-for-you ingredients list. It's not difficult to see why Soylent might make it a scapegoat for its product issues, accurately or otherwise.
What is most damaging here for TerraVia is that many consumers don't know enough about algae or algal products to make a determination about whether Soylent's claims about its safety or quality are factual — which they still could be.
But until Soylent releases data and testing results, which the brand hasn't done so far, anyone could make potentially false but still believable claims about algae-based ingredients. That could harm not just TerraVia but the category as a whole, as plant-based proteins are becoming a more dominant presence in the industry.