What used to be a staple in science fiction – shrinking entire meals into pill form – is closer than we think.
Well, we’re not at that miniscule level yet, but three startups are pushing the boundaries of how we think about food.
Finnish startup Ambronite, UK-based Huel, and Silicon Valley’s Soylent have invented what they describe as “the future of food”, “a drinkable supermeal” and “a food revolution”.
While the science behind these products is complex, it’s never been easier to devour a meal for the consumer. Each product is a package of powder that contains all the nutrients your body needs. Mix it with water, and serve.
“The whole idea is that one Ambronite contains a quarter of the daily guidelines for the average diet, which is 2,000 calories,” Ambronite co-founder Simo Suoheimo told IBTimes UK in an interview.
“It’s to give you a superior alternative to anything else that’s out there, that you’ll have no trouble using – whether you’re at the office or sailing the Atlantic.”
Suoheimo was vaguely referencing Ari Huusela, who finished a solo race across the Atlantic Ocean relying on Ambronite.
While nutritionists recognize the balanced nutritional value of these products, there are apprehensions.
“The concerns are more about having a liquid diet. Chewing is a really important part of digestion. It’s the first part where you mix it with saliva and you mix in digestive enzymes, and if that part isn’t happening then you’re actually missing out on a crucial part of digestion,” explained Louise Digby, director of nutrition at The Specialist Health Centre.
“The other concern about having an all liquid diet would be it doesn’t satiate you when you drink your calories. If you drink 500 calories it’s not going to keep you going for as long as if you were to chew 500 calories just because of how long it takes you to actually physically break it down in your stomach.”
If you think you can stomach a liquid-only diet, here’s how the three products compare to one another: