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Soylent is made of algae, and that might be making people ill

The meal replacement brand sifted through its formula for the cause of nasty gastrointestinal problems, and may have found what's turning tummies.

Something in Soylent isn't sitting right with some.


If a meal replacement powder like Soylent makes you sick to your stomach, algae flour might be the culprit.

After some Soylent customers complained of tummy trouble in a nutritional powder and bar, the company pulled both and vowed to figure out what went wrong. The issue may come down to a certain kind of ground-up algae that found its way into both products, Bloomberg reported.

Soylent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier formulas that didn't include the algae ingredient didn't seem to make people sick -- only one version called Powder 1.6, which tested negative for toxins, food pathogens and "outside contamination". Soylent said it would release new formulas of both its powder and meal-replacement bar in early 2017, according to Bloomberg.

The incident is a huge blow for the food-meets-tech startup, which collected $20 million in Silicon Valley funding in 2015.