We’re almost ready to ship.
All the ingredients are in. That includes the Costco vitamins, which we will have to use until we can find a manufacturer willing to sell us a custom blend. Sadly, it turns out these vitamins contain trace amounts of gelatin, which means they are not animal-free, and therefore not vegan or even vegetarian. :/ For lack of a better option we will go ahead with these pills until we can get our own blend, but for any disappointed vegans who would like a refund in the meantime, we will do our best to oblige.
On a related note, I just found out that the Vitamin K2 powder that we bought to supplement the Costco vitamins contains sodium caseinate, which is derived from milk, and could cause problems for people who are severely allergic to dairy proteins. Because of our commitment to a completely hypoallergenic product and facility, we won’t be able to use this Vitamin K2 after all.
That’s unfortunate, because this was from the only Vitamin K2 supplier that would give us the time of day.
So it looks like we’ll have to find some hypoallergenic Vitamin K2 capsules on Amazon and grind those up along with the Costco vitamins. Thank goodness for two-day Prime shipping. :p
All the equipment is set up. An air conditioner and a small dehumidifier together keep the clean room below 50% humidity at all times, in order to minimize risk of spoilage for any of the ingredients that now line the shelves in airtight food-grade bins. We’ve got our chef coats and aprons, our gloves, masks, and safety glasses, and our expensive digital scales. We’ve got our cleaning routine down, with microfiber towels, a HEPA vacuum cleaner, and an alcohol-based sanitizer to obviate the need for water in the clean room. All the tools and containers are taken to the three-compartment sink, washed with soap and water, sanitized with chlorine bleach as per the industry standard, and left to air-dry overnight on the stainless steel wire shelving.
And we did a test batch with the mixer this week. Unfortunately, we discovered that it can only accommodate about 30 lbs of product before it starts to have issues mixing consistently. Yes, that’s only one month’s worth of Schmoylent, or two months of Schmilk, at a time. That’s not very efficient. On the bright side, that means we could easily introduce new flavor variations on an experimental basis, because of our small batch size. ;)
The recipes are almost ready. We’ve succeeded in achieving a smooth texture and stable suspension for all five variations, which I’m really happy about. There is almost zero perceptible grit even in Schmoylent, and Schmilk will now stay mixed all day without separating into layers.
At this point, we’re just finalizing the flavors for all of the recipes. We’ve got our vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate dialed in for Schmoylent already, and we’ll be testing flavors for the remaining variations over the next week.
I’m proud to say that we’re using only entirely natural, authentic flavor ingredients for our recipes, sourced from Starwest Botanicals. That means vanilla extract from actual vanilla beans, ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka for the lowest possible coumarin content of any cinnamon variety, and Dutch-processed cocoa for a richer chocolate taste. And they’re all organic.
If all goes well, we hope to publish the final recipes and nutrition facts later this week, and start shipping next week. At that point, it will probably take a few more weeks to ship out all the pre-orders from the last three months. But once that’s out of the way, we can finally achieve a turnaround time of only a few days for each new order.
We’re so close! I’m looking forward to getting this wheel turning.
Let’s make it happen.