Question about the Heavy Metal Report from 2017

Maybe you can clarify some confusion I am having with the heavy metals report you released. It isn’t really reassuring to me, though I’m guessing that’s because I don’t fully understand it. This is a link to the report you released last year on heavy metals in Huel:

According to the FDA, the safe level for lead is 6 micrograms / day in food. That is an outdated number from 1993 that hasn’t been updated, but the current assessment is that it is too high and they are still in the process of finding a lower safe value (

However, according to your own report a single serving of Huel (100g) contains 0.004 milligrams of lead (4 micrograms). This is below the FDAs old recommendation, but that’s for a single serving. I don’t see how you could have more than a single serving a day and still be below the safe level of 6 micrograms (which is, as the FDA states, too high anyway). Certainly having Huel as the only source of nutrition would put someone above that number very quickly.

I’m sure you’ve done your homework, so I’m just trying to do mine and get a better understanding of how the safety determination is made and its relationship to other measures of food safety. Is there something I’m missing about the heavy metal report or recommended serving sizes?



That is a great question @khaledallen! While I do not work for Huel, I believe I can help with your question.

For reference:
1,000 micrograms(mcg) = 1 milligram (mg)
1,000mg = 1 gram (g)
1,000g = 1 kilogram (kg)

So if I am reading the heavy metals test pdf you provided correctly, there were actually 0.044mg of lead found per kilogram of Huel.

A single serving of Huel is 127g.

To convert the amount of lead that would be theoretically found in a single serving of Huel based off the test, we need to first convert 127g into kilograms. Since there are 1000g in a kilogram we would do this:

127g/1,000g = 0.127kg

Now we have the proper ratio. Since 0.044mg of lead were found in the 1kg of Huel tested, we can simply multiply a single serving of Huel, which is 0.127kg by 0.044mg which equals 0.005588mg of lead in a single serving of Huel. To convert this to micrograms we would multiply 0.005588mg by 1,000, which equals 5.588mcg.

So if my unit conversions and math are correct, then there is theoretically 5.588mcg of lead per serving of Huel. While this is below the maximum daily intake of 6mcg of lead the FDC set in 1993, as you stated, the FDA is now reviewing this daily maximum based off of new scientific data.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of Huel’s product (being completely plant based), this may be the best that Huel can offer. Since lead is naturally present in top soil it gets absorbed by the various plants that comprise Huel.

It has been shown that people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet consume more heavy metals than those who have a mostly meat diet. But the bio-availability of these metals may be less in plant-derived foods vs. animal derived foods and therefore may not have much of an impact over the life of an individual. Source:

I am not a doctor, scientist, expert, etc. in any of the topics in this post. Just lending my thoughts and logic which are definitely not infallible.


I also wanted to point out this useful information. This info on heavy metals found in plant foods was posted by the FDA in 2007.


In comparison to these plant foods, Huel is on the low side in lead content.


@robat thanks for this! Your math seems good to me. I was using estimates. This table is more reassuring though, since if greens have that much heavy metals, Huel seems trivial in comparison.

Well, that sorts out my dilemma. Thanks


Glad it helped! :grin:

I am a long term Soylent user, thinking of switching to Huel because of the considerably lower sugar and higher fiber and protein. However, Soylent appears to have significantly less heavy metals: Does it lead to a noticeable difference in the long run for people who get most of their calories from Huel/Soylent?

I’m very glad I came across this. Using the report provided by khaledallen, the lead content of Huel is about 4.5 ug per 400 Calorie serving. This is very high. If you consume 2000 Calories per day of Huel like I do, thats 22 ug of lead per day which is almost quadruple the very dated FDA guideline.

For comparison, Soylent powder has a lead content of 0.51 ug per 400 Calories, an order of magnitude lower. See I recently switched from Soylent to Huel for a few different reasons. But after learning this I will be switching back to Soylent for now without hesitation. I really hope Huel can work on dramatically lowering this contamination level for the sake of all who regularly consume it and may be unaware of this concern.

As far as comparing how contamination in traditional foods compare to Huel or Soylent, you really need to put everything on per-calorie basis, not a per-serving or per gram basis. For example, 22 ug of lead per 2000 calories for Huel. Energy content in Calories is one thing that will remain more or less constant across various diets. Number of servings or grams will vary considerably.

As per huel, The lead per 100g meal is 0.02 ppm,

Source :

1 ppm = 1 microgram
0.02 ppm = 0.02 microgram

Lets say FDA recommends not more than 6 micrograms per day

One meal = 100gms = 0.02 micrograms of Lead
Full day on huel means lets 5 meals a day which is equal to 0.1 microgram

So the lead content is no way near near to the FDA warning.
Please dont make people scared by these kind of posts.

I am shocked to see no one from Huel admin team has given clarification to this post. May i Know why ?

Because, When I suggested my colleague to take huel, he did some research online and came to conclusion that huel has lot of lead content by going through this post. (this particular post appears first in google when someone search about lead content in huel). He finally decided not to take this.

So my dear huel admins/promoters please make sure to clear myths when it is so easy to do.

I’m so sorry we missed this thread guys. We actually covered this pretty recently here: Clean Label Project

I would also add Prop 65 levels are unnecessarily low and emotive.


I checked the link from your post:
I can find no mention on this page of how much lead is in Huel. Am I missing something here?

I used Soylent until I found out they were all GMO. I just received Huel. It’s tastes great, and the food is delicious too.

Hi Andrea, welcome to the Huel Forum! So happy to hear you are enjoying Huel :grin: What have you tried so far?


I love Huel. I have the peanut butter and vanilla shakes. My favorite is the peanut butter. I also LOVE the spicy Thai meal. I eat it every morning to break my 12hr fast.

These are truly healthy vegan products!

1 Like

So glad to hear this and those are all great flavors! :raised_hands:

1 Like

Uhhh, nice segue…:expressionless::+1:

Hey Chris! The posts on this forum thread were from a few months to a few years ago and the topic had been discussed in detail. Dan also provided a link to an additional forum thread with more information. If you have any questions/concerns related to any of the discussion before the new post and discussion from a few days ago, please let me know!

Additionally, here is the link to our “Huel Food Safety and Quality Controls” page. I thought I would share this if you would like to review the most up to date information surrounding heavy metals and Huel products. This includes lead which was asked about a few months ago.

Hey! Sorry for the late post, but I compared your math and Robat’s and am getting the same results as Robat. A few things to clear up:

According to the original heavy metals document posted:

a) 0.044 mg of lead per 1,000 grams of Huel
b) convert mg to mcg (micrograms): 0.044 mg = 44 micrograms (So, we have 44 micrograms in 1,000 grams of Huel)
c) divide 44 micrograms by 1000 grams of Huel to get # of micrograms per 1 gram of Huel = 0.044 micrograms
d) 1 serving of Huel is about 127 grams (not 100 grams)
e) 0.044 micrograms x 127 grams (1 scoop) = 5.588 micrograms of lead

Now, the amount of that lead that we’re absorbing I cannot tell you, but as mentioned above, studies have shown that those consuming plant based diets didn’t absorb as much lead (who knows if that’s a lot or a little).


1 Like

So the takeaway here is I was right to think cooked spinach is icky. :joy:

1 Like

:heart_eyes:STOICHIOMETRY :heart_eyes:

Why is the current lead report shown on huel website using a different provider than the tests done for v1 and v2? Is it possible to get a test done showing how PASS would have analyzed v3 for lead?