Posted on 12 Comments

On the Brink

We’re almost ready to ship.

Beyond the shelves of bulk ingredients lies the mysterious clean room.

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

Ingredients labeled and ready to go, complete with lot numbers.

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.

The sink! Three compartments and all.

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.

Richard mixing the latest Schmoylent flavor test.

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.

Yep. Pretty epic.

12 thoughts on “On the Brink

  1. Can we get an update on progress? If I placed an order today for Schmilk how long will it take to receive it?

    1. Yes, we just started manufacturing last Friday and I’ve been meaning to post an update on the blog! It’s hard to say yet how long it will take to get through our pre-order backlog but we’ll let you all know as soon as we have a good estimate.

  2. Crazy excited to try your 1200 Keto Fuel! Low cal pancake batter? Yes, please!

    I’ve been waiting to place my next order until my pre-order arrives though- will you be doing any testing on storage durability once you have the new mixtures set up? I’d hate to order too much!

    1. We will of course be doing the standard tests for microbes and heavy metals. The people at the labs say it’s almost not worth the bother because of the dry, shelf-stable nature of our product, but we’ll let you know when we have some results. In the meantime, we’re estimating a one-year shelf life as a good general guideline.

  3. I’m looking forward to trying the new 1,500 cal. Schmilk revision! I’m currently on the lookout for a SoyJoy G4 Soymilk maker to supply the milk.

    You should consider selling limited edition Holiday flavors like Egg Nog and Pumpkin Pie :)

    1. Cool, I’m looking forward to getting it to you! Limited edition holiday flavors would be awesome, of course – and since we have such a small mixer, we can easily do new flavors in limited runs like that. :)

  4. Hey there,

    Do you guys make a stronger guarantee on Schmoylent being gluten-free than Soylent does? I see you have been changing different ingredients in the process based on availability, do you check that the new mix is below the thresholds for being labelled gluten-free?

    1. Hey, yes, our gluten-free status is definitely a priority. All our ingredients are gluten-free (we are paying double for certified gluten-free oat flour) and once we start making batches we’ll do some tests to make sure gluten levels are in fact as low as we expect. We also don’t have any gluten in our facility, so there’s very little chance of cross-contamination. But we’ll be sure to post once we have some test results!

  5. Ceylon cinnamon? Did it used to be Saigon?

    Is Keto Fuel still going to be an option? If so, any chance of cinnamon, pretty please?

    IIRC my workaround was going to be ordering vanilla Keto Fuel and adding Saigon cinnamon myself, but figured it was worth asking since shipping is imminent.

    So exciting! Great job, guys!

    1. Yes, it used to be Saigon cinnamon. Which tastes great, but has a fair amount of coumarin.

      Once we clear out the backlog of pre-orders, it is very likely that we will introduce Keto Fuel Cinnamon and Light Fuel Cinnamon. With batch sizes this small, we might as well! Plus, I think the cinnamon would taste really good with Keto Fuel and Light Fuel.

  6. AWW YISS! Um, I mean, a most salutary development in powdered meal replacement, I do say.

    1. Thanks Eryk. ;) I can’t wait to show everyone how much better our flavors and textures will be at Super Body Fuel!

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