Originally posted on https://genesisfoods.co/blog/ketocomplete-update.
As those who follow our social media may know, we recently sent out some beta test samples of a fats-included ketogenic meal replacement powder that was also vegan-friendly and free from nuts. These samples went out to a decent number of our beta testers (sign up here if interested), and we have been receiving their feedback on the recipe over recent weeks (some of which can be found on our subreddit).
Generally, reviews of this product were positive, with some of our beta testers asking to purchase ahead of release. However, it would be wrong to say there was universal praise; some people provided some very constructive criticism detailing their issues with the formula, and this has provided us with some great insight. We are in the process of slightly reformulating to try to improve on these issues, and will shortly be contacting a small sample of those who provided feedback on the initial beta test round to see if they are interested in testing a (hopefully improved) new formula. However, we wanted to detail some of the issues people experienced and what we are doing to fix them here for those who are interested:
Issue 1 – The flavours are too weak:
Going into the initial formulation of KetoComplete, we wanted to have a more muted flavour profile than our KetoGenesis line due to the fact that consuming strong, sweet flavours for a prolonged period of time can make them grow dull and even repulsive. Based on feedback, we may well have taken this too far, with some describing the flavoured varieties as having just a light essence of flavour on top of an unflavoured profile.
With the new formula, we are following a similar ethos in terms of muted flavours, but are boosting flavouring by approximately 22% (and with it, the protein content is rising from approximately 100g per 2000 calories to 120g per 2000 calories). This should hopefully present more of a flavour profile for those who found the flavoured options too weak, whilst still allowing long-term usage of any given flavour without boredom setting in.
Unflavoured remains just as unflavoured and unsweetened as it was before, though still exhibits the increased protein content.
Issue 2 – The shakes have an off-putting odour:
This was one of the most subjective elements of the shakes, with some finding the smell absolutely vile and others liking it, and this was true across all flavours. Some of the more negative reviews described the shakes of smelling of hay, or in the case of two testers, even vomit! In the case of the latter, we believe this is down to the cocoa butter powder. This powder had an extremely strong smell of chocolate, but with something quite different about it. Given both reviewers who mentioned a vomit odour were based in the US, our theory here is that this potent off-chocolate smell triggered the same response in them as butyric acid does. Butyric acid is a common ingredient in chocolate in the US (though not elsewhere), and smells of vomit.
The solution to this is rather straightforward – replace the cocoa butter powder. Finding a vegan, keto-friendly replacement wasn’t easy, but there was one other ingredient that we thought may work, so we’re proceeding with this for the next stage of testing. One bonus of this ingredient is it’s odourless.
As for the smell of hay, there are two possible ingredients contributing to this: flaxseed or our phytonutrients. We are sceptical it’s the flaxseed, simply because one of the testers who commented on this has vast experience testing different meal replacements, and many of the ones they’ve tested have had flaxseed in. Our phytonutrients, however, are far more unique, and are all from various floral extracts. The next stage of testing will still have phytonutrients included, but if the hay-like smell persists we will try a final test without them in. Hopefully though, the removal of the cocoa butter powder and the addition of more flavouring will make the phytonutrients impart less of an odour…