Algal oil as a future addition?

Currently, Huel provides omega 3 primarily by supplying ALA from flax, and relying on the body to convert part of it into DHA and EPA, since there are few vegan sources of the latter. Apart from this it mostly uses sunflower oil, and coconut oil for fat calories.

However, algal oil production has been rapidly growing in scale over the past few years, and is a great vegan source of DHA and EPA that will hopefully put an end to overfishing for the fish oil supplement industry. It mixes reasonably well with sunflower oil to fortify it with omega 3 afaik.

Could it be a possible addition to the Huel formula in future versions to further improve its fat profile? Or are there various food engineering issues that make it hard to put in a storable powder?

1 Like

Hi there! Thank you for the suggestion, we truly appreciate feedback from our Hueligans to help us make the best version of our products that we can. With regard to algal oil, this is still relatively new as you mentioned so there are not many options available, but we have tested it out for use in Huel. While very interesting, unfortunately, the taste proved to be challenging for us when added in quantities that would allow us to achieve the amount of DHA/EPA that we would like to include. However, we are looking out for versions of algal oil that would be more neutral when added to the powder. While we are nutrition first, we also look at taste and we found at the moment that flaxseed is able to provide what we are looking for with regard to omega-3s while keeping taste where we want it too!

And you are correct that flaxseed does not have DHA or EPA; however, as you also mentioned, the body can convert ALA to DHA and EPA. What we did was ensure that Huel has enough ALA to allow for adequate conversion to DHA and EPA and you can read more on that here, if you are interested! The page that I linked also details how much DHA and EPA you would have after conversion from ALA when consuming Huel powder based on estimations utilizing conversion rates. Your suggestion is definitely one that we are going to keep an eye on and thank you for writing in about it!