I’m Alex Rogers, owner of Proteinfactory.com and in 1998 I invented custom protein powder & supplements. I’m going to make a statement that is pretty rash, but here it is,
Never buy custom protein powder supplements or bulk supplements from companies that sell them. In now way shape or form can the quality be guaranteed and you have no idea what you are actually getting. li
- They operate illegally. According to the Food & Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations 111’s for dietary supplements, these companies, like these customization companies, sell you supplements that violate these regulations
- They cannot guarantee the quality of the supplements that they custom make for you, which is required by federal regulations.
- They cannot guarantee the safety of these supplements that they sell to you, which is required by federal regulations.
- It is impossible to make custom batches of dietary supplements without cross-contamination.
- It is impossible to keep each batch of dietary supplements from being exposed to allergens that can possibly cause someone’s death.
- Testing the powder AFTER the custom batch is made is financially costly, making it virtually impossible to sell at a reasonable price.
These are bold claims I know, but it is the truth. I know so because I ran a custom protein powder dietary supplement manufacturing facility for years.
This is the story of how I invented custom protein powder and supplements, how the FDA ended it, the hypocrisy that exists in the protein supplement business, and why you should not buy custom protein powder & dietary supplements from any company that makes them.
It all started in my house actually in 1998. I was fresh out of college, and I was working at my father’s pet store. My father was a controlling man when it came to his pet store, which BTW is a 10,000 square foot pet store and grosses in the MILLIONS every year. It is a serious business. But anyway I was not happy, helping customers with bags of dog food and weighing out parakeet seed for Mrs. Finkelstein’s little bird. I was always bodybuilding and was a big fan of supplements. I used everything from shit Weider Weight Gainers to Russian Bear supplements. Things all changed for me when I started to use whey protein. The first whey protein I used was Designer Whey. It was the first whey protein that everyone was using, and it was THE product to get. I’m pretty sure Designer Whey was the original whey protein, but don’t quote me on that. Anyway, I was using Designer Whey, and I was getting terrible gas. Farting, running poops, diarrhea, the Hersey Squirts, whatever you want to call it. It made me not want use the powder even though everyone was, calling it the greatest thing since sliced bread. At the same time, something called the internet came along. And I used it to research whey protein
I found out that the reason I was getting such awful stomach problems from Designer Whey was because it was a whey protein concentrate, which meant that it contained LACTOSE! Lactose is the main culprit to cause these problems with many people. I researched a little more and found out that there is something called whey isolate. Whey isolate does not contain lactose. I was happy about finding this. I then started to search and search for whey isolate. Nope could not find any whey isolate at my local vitamin store, nope not on the internet, wow, I could not find any whey isolate anywhere. And this is how I started the idea of selling protein powder. I felt that since nobody was selling whey isolate, now was the time to start doing it. I would be the first.
Having no knowledge about supplements and protein, I called up Glanbia Nutritionals and asked them if I could buy their whey isolate. At that time they called it Provon 290. I ordered about $900 worth. It was all the money I could afford. I remember it was about 6, 15 kg bags. I then ordered containers and scoops. The only problem was I did not know how to flavor the powder. After doing more research, I found out that simply adding cocoa and a sweetener like aspartame and acesulfame would do the trick. Low and behold right in my kitchen I flavored myself and my company the first chocolate whey protein isolate. I then bottled it up, printed labels on a printer I bought from Staples and tried to sell it.
Nobody wanted it. No matter how much I tried to explain to supplement stores that whey isolate is better, nobody wanted it. Little did I know that people selling supplements really don’t care about quality, they only care about making a buck, which still hold true today with 99% of the supplement companies out there.
I was stuck with about $900 worth of protein and not one sale. How could I get my message across I thought? Again, I turned to the internet. I went on message boards and started posting that I had something called “Whey isolate” for sale in bulk. People LOVED it! Next thing I knew I was selling my whey isolate. I would simply weigh it out on a digital scale, put it in a plastic bag, zip tie it up, and ship it out. Soon after that I thought of the idea of custom protein powder. I bought some soy protein isolate and mixed it in my garage. People we’re asking me to mix custom protein powder it 50/50, 60/40, etc. So I did. Not only did I do that but I wanted to let people know that THIS was the proper way to buy protein. Not some proprietary blend bullshit. When you buy custom protein, you know exactly how much you are getting (so to speak, and I’ll explain later). After that, I bought egg whites, casein, hydrolyzed protein, and whatever else I could get. I would then get carbs, and supplements such as amino acids, etc.
Next thing I knew my garage was a freakin custom protein powder factory. This lead to a few quality control problems.
1) Cross-contamination. I was using the same scoop for everything. Sure I was trying to minimize cross-contamination, but it is impossible to do so.
2) measuring. I was scooping out powder out of bags, measuring the proper amounts, and making the formula. Error Free, not a chance, of course, I was making errors
3) math errors. Every single custom formula the MATH needs to be done. For example. If someone orders 25% egg, 25% whey, and 50% casein, 8 lbs, vanilla, with acesulfame. You would need to do the MATH to figure out how much of each ingredient to use. I’m not going to do the math now, but if you want to go knock your socks off.
This was just the start of my problems. These problems were elementary, to say the least.
After I had outgrown my garage, I moved into my fathers building next door, and my business exploded. I had to wake up at 4 AM, and I would mix powder till nine at night.
More problems, the mixers. I used power tools and hooked up paint mixers to them. This worked well, but the dust. OMG, the dust. This was a big problem. The dust from the powders is unbelievable. It goes everywhere. It finds it way on every single piece of something that is flat. The protein dust even finds its way to the inside of the computers in my office. The air conditioning….forget about it. I would have to clean the air conditioner once a week or it would break. The protein dust would stick on the air conditioning coils and clog everything up.
Fast forward a few years and the first REAL problem I had. A guy by the internet handle name 1fast400 decided to test my custom protein powder for protein, carbs and whatever else. He was a bodybuilding.com troll. I won’t name names, but you can find out who this guy is easily on Google. Anyway, he tested one of my custom formulas, and the protein was way off. He posted the tests on bodybuilding.com. Long story short, it didn’t hurt my business whatsoever. In fact, it helped it by just giving me more exposure. I sued him and lost. The judge, at the time, didn’t even know what the INTERNET was, and trolling laws didn’t exist. However, I knew that I had a quality control problem because human errors when mixing that many custom formulas are going to happen. It is impossible for them not to happen. That is why I say companies like this customization company cannot guarantee the quality of their protein. Sure they may have the best people mixing the powder. They may be having people SIGN off on what ingredients they are putting in the formula. They may have the best software program that is doing the custom calculations. But when it is all said and done, they cannot guarantee what is on the label is in the bag, unless they run a lab test AFTER the custom dietary supplement is made, and that is impossible to do because a) it takes weeks to run a test b) it would cost hundreds of dollars to run the tests that the federal regulations require in the CFR 111’s. Thus to simply turn a profit on a custom protein supplement that followed the 111 regulations would cost hundreds of dollars per custom bag of protein supplements. Nobody is going to wait weeks for their custom protein and nobody is going to pay $500 for 1 lbs of whey protein concentrate.
Therefore it is impossible to abide by the CFR 111’s and sell custom protein powder supplements UNLESS you want to charge hundred of dollars for every custom bad you sold. No if’s and’s or but’s.!
And that is what the FDA pretty much told me after the ever so sweet FDA agent inspected my business in 2011.
In 2011, a cute blonde in a military uniform, weighing in at about 110 lbs, with a nice little ass, began her inspection of Proteinfactory.com. After about a month and a half of an inspection, she wrote her 483 warning letter to my company. She wasn’t at hot as Jessica Simposn, but she was fine……
This 483 warning letter was the sentence of death for custom protein powder and custom dietary supplements. In that letter, it read off my violations that went against the Code of Federal Regulations 111’s for dietary supplements. You see in 2010 the FDA issued the deadline for companies to get compliant with the 111’s which literally KILLED custom protein. Essentially making it impossible to sell custom protein and custom supplements without violating the regulations.
Time to lawyer up! I hired consultants and FDA lawyers. I hired the two biggest FDA dietary supplements lawyers I could find. Two big hot shots out of New York City. We tried everything to try to be compliant with the 111’s, and it almost worked. My FDA lawyer came up with a plan. The plan was that we’re not making dietary supplements. Instead we we’re making FOOD and custom protein powder! And when your products are food, they fall under the CFR 110’s for food, not supplements, and then it will be legal to custom make protein powder. Protein is food! Yes, that will work, I though to myself? I mean look around. The largest seller of whey protein, Optimum Nutrition, is selling their whey protein as food. Because look at the product, it says NUTRITION FACTS on the back of the Gold Standard 100!
We put the plan into action. I threw out all the supplements in the Proteinfactory.com. Creatine, amino acids, enzymes, and whatever else was legally defined as supplements. In the dumpster, they went. Thousands and thousands of dollars worth of supplements. The only thing that was left in my building was “food”.
This took about a year or two to accomplish, and the FDA came back for an inspection. Again, another 483 warning letter. The FDA did not accept our “food” plan. The FDA wanted a meeting with me. I believe it was a late summer day in August in 2012. It was myself, my lawyer, and my consultant. We all met at the FDA’s office in Parsippany NJ. Dan Fabricant, the head of dietary supplements for the FDA was on speaker phone. Dan was insistent that my powders, powders like oat, egg, milk, and dextrose we’re supplements and not food. My lawyer argued and argued; I got to give it to him, he did put up a helluva fight. He was slamming his fist on the desk even at one point. Forget that Optimum Nutrition is labeled food, forget that egg whites are labeled food, no, no, Proteinfactory.com’s products are supplements. Therefore, they fall under the 111’s, not the 110’s. After the meeting, my lawyer, my consultant, and I sat in the lobby. My lawyer looked at me and said, “They want you to stop making custom protein, it’s over Alex.” I really couldn’t say anything. I spent thousands of dollars on lawyers and consultants, and the FDA, including the head of the FDA were insistent that my powders were dietary supplements not food thereby falling under the 111’s, not the 110’s. My lawyer said next up is a court injunction. The FDA will be the federal marshalls to come in with their guns, seize your powders, take your computers, and you’re outta business. I decided it was over. After almost 15 years of making custom protein supplements, it was over. How could this be I thought to myself? How could Optimum Nutrition, and many others label their whey products as food, and I have to label mine as a supplement? I remember crying on the way home. A week later I fired all of my employees. Well most of them anyway, I keep a few people. The good news was that it was not the end of Proteinfactory.com because we knew we could still sell protein supplements, but not just custom.
But then something stirred inside me that did not sit well. You see I was not the only company to make custom protein powder. A company called NAME WITHHELD who ripped off my idea of custom protein & pretty much every single product I came out with, was still making custom protein.
How could this be? How could the head of the FDA tell me I had to label my protein powders as dietary supplements but all these other companies still customizing not? I do not know the answer nor any FDA lawyer, nor any dietary supplement consultant knows the answer either. Why does Optimum Nutrition label their whey protein as food, but not a dietary supplement? Why doesn’t the FDA tell ON to label their Gold Standard 100 as food? How come my plan to label my protein as food did not work in the eyes of the FDA but it is working for ON.? This company is still making custom protein. If you do go their website, you’ll see that they are making their custom protein as food. They are using the same “plan” I did to try to save my custom protein business. When you order custom protein from this company they send you the custom protein with a nutrition facts panel which makes it food. (I’ve ordered from them) I’m not sure if they used consultants to come up with this plan, or simply saw what I tried and implemented it, but it does not matter. In my opinion, they are operating illegally.
Also, this customization company gives you the option to add vitamins and minerals to any protein powder, plus enzymes, which are both dietary supplements as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations 111’s. Therefore as soon as this company does this (add vitamins and minerals), it becomes a dietary supplement and then falls under the 111’s, not the 110’s. Under federal regulations 111’s, this customization company MUST lab test the finished custom protein powder with vitamins and minerals for whatever is claimed on the label AFTER they make it. Not doing so is violating the 111’s. IMPORTANT, AFTER THEY MAKE IT! AFTER is the important word!
But this customization company, I allege does not do ANY testing after a custom protein batch is made. If they did, it would cost them thousands of dollars each day. Because if they make 115 custom protein batches, then they must conduct 115 different lab tests to verify things like protein, carbs, fat and essentially (according to the CFR 111’s) anything that is in a measurable amount. This is all clearly spelled out in the 111’s. On a side note, on this customization’s website they post lab analysis of ingredients that they sell. However, this is worthless. Because the testing must be done AFTER, the custom protein is made, not before. (Granted the 111’s require testing BEFORE, but they also require a lot more than 1 simple test and this company is not following the 111’s for their custom protein, their trying to follow the 110’s.) Who’s to say the person physically mixing a custom protein blend, did not get lazy, forgot, missed, made a mistake, over poured, under poured, spilled something in the custom blend, used a scoop that had residue on it, mixed up one order or for another order, or flat out botched the whole formula.
HOW CUSTOM PROTEIN IS MADE.
At the beginning of this article, I told you to never buy custom protein from any protein company. To understand this better, it is important that you get an idea of how custom protein is made. Remember I invented custom protein in 1998 and scaled it up the best way I knew how. Let me tell you how custom protein is made.
I had around 100 components (that is the legal term the FDA uses to describe an ingredient) at any given time at the Proteinfactory, possibly more. Looking at this customization companies website, it looks like they have about that many as well. Maybe more because all of their flavorings and sweeteners.
Having 100 components is a messy operation. The powder is every where. There is no way to be neat when making custom protein. Powder gets spilled. Unless this customization company has spent millions on inventing a machine that can make custom protein, they are using humans to make custom protein. In addition, I also allege they are using human mixers because to me, it seems like they cant even afford to buy labels for their custom protein. Look at this image below, they are stealing labels from UPS. I use stealing because they are using UPS labels that are supposed to be used for shipping shipping boxes, not for their own personal use. You see, if you have a UPS business account, UPS gives you free shipping labels to use as a UPS label on the outside of the shipping box. This customization company takes advantage of this and uses these labels as the labels for their custom protein….(see image below). Therefore they are essentially stealing in my opinion.
But let me get back to the human mixer. This human is an employee. Most likely getting paid less than $15.00 per hour. Sure he cares about his, job, but he does not care that much. Not at $15.00 per hour. Most likely the human that is instructed to make the custom protein is handed the formula on a piece of paper. He’s not looking at a computer screen because it is so dusty in the mixing room, anything and everything gets coated with protein dust. It would destroy the computer in less than a day. This human has the custom formula and he then proceeds to make the formula. Hopefully he was already given the math and does not have to do it manually himself. Because this could easily lead to adding 200 grams of egg protein instead of 2000 grams of egg protein and the customer would get ripped off.
So the human now has a formula and he must now physically make it. Lets take this formula that I made on this customization companies website.
My Ingredients: 15% Whey Protein Isolate Cold-Filtration, 10% Pea Protein Isolate non-GMO, 10% Micellar Casein, 10% Hemp Protein Powder, 10% Hydrolyzed Whey Protein High Grade, 10% MCT – Medium Chain Triglycerides Powder, 10% Oat Starch Powder, 10% PumpkinPlus™ Protein non-GMO, 10% Whole Egg Protein, 5% Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Ultra Grade, T Chocolate Fudge Brownie (Flavoring [Natural Flavoring Extracts, Cocoa, non-GMO Rice Powder, Guar Gum, Stevia]), Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Boost (Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Choline Bitartrate, Vitamin K1, Ascorbic Acid, D Alpha Tocopherol Succinate [Vitamin E], Niacinamide [Vitamin B3], Zinc Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate [Vitamin B5], Folic Acid [Vitamin B9], Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine HCL [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Biotin, Vitamin D3 Powder, Cyanocobalamine [Vitamin B12].),Electrolytes Boost (Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Oxide), Protein Enzyme Boost (Protease), Carb Enzyme Boost (Fungal Amylase, Hemocellulase, Callulase, Bromelain, Maltodextrin, Silicon Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrins.)
Nice formula right? Look at all of those ingredients. Well let me tell you something, as someone that mixed protein for years & invented custom protein. This formula is a fucking NIGHTMARE! Why?
Because let’s say I order 10lbs of custom protein. However, I order 2 lbs of 5 different flavors. This customers order right here would take about 1 hour to make, carefully and accurately. If you we’re in a hurry, you’d get sloppy and add to much of one ingredient and not enough of another. Let me explain better.
This formula right here is about 16 different ingredients. That means the person making the formula must scoop out and weight 16 different times. Correctly and accurately or the formula will be inaccurate.
Now here is where it gets tricky. How exactly does the person mixing the protein powder get the ingredients. Where are they stored? How are they closed to prevent insects from flying in? How is cross-contamination prevent? How is each product ketp from being exposed to allergens?
Back in the day when I made custom protein it was messy. We tried our best to keep things neat, but even after the first FDA inspection it was impossible. Cross-contamination is impossible to stop.
Here is the set up we had. I drew up a sketch.
I am going to allege; this is what this customization company has as well. See the 40 circles of bulk ingredients? Ingredients like whey, pea protein, fat powders, and all the rest they have listed on their website. Now each time a custom protein formula is requested by a customer the mixer (the person making the protein) has to go back and forth between his mixing bowl and the bags of protein or components. In my formula, I have about 16 different ingredients. Each and everytime the mixer must go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Scooping out the ingredients with his hand and a scoop. Now sometimes he needs more of an ingredient and sometimes he needs less. Say for example he needs 170 grams of whey protein. He scoops out what he guesses his 170 grams and puts it on the scale. He sprinkles in 100 grams, then 150 grams, then 190 grams. Whoops too much, put the scoop in and scoop out what you THINK is 20 grams. Whoops, too much, sprinkle in more whey protein, keep your eye on the gram scale, bingo 172 grams. Close enough!!! Great now I only have to do that 15 more times!!! FML.
Now can you see why I called this kind of formula a fucking nightmare for the mixer!
Keep in mind I ordered four different flavors. That means the mixer has to do this about 80 times. 80 TIMES!
This is where the problems happen. There is no way you can get a mixer to accurately make custom protein formulas time after time after time. Five days a week maybe 6, and 8 hours a day. It is very repetitive, tiresome, and people then get lazy.
Mistakes are going to be made, and formulas are not going to be accurate.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Cross-contamination can happen several ways. First is general mixing of custom protein and allergen control. This leads to a major cross-contamination problem. When I was making custom protein powder, this was a big problem for us and the FDA. In 2011, after, Doreen, the petite blonde FDA inspector issued us our 483 warning letter, we put our “food” plan into action which included implementing our “allegan control plan”. You see allergens are a taken very serious in the eyes of the FDA. If someone is allergic to a certain ingredient, they could get seriously ill or even die. These allergens are often referred to as the Big-81 comprising of milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.
We had several allergen products to deal with. Whey, casein, and milk protein are milk products or dairy products. Our Oatmuscle and Omega Muscle had traces of wheat. Therefore, we had to set up an elaborate mixing schedule to satisfy the FDA allergen requirements. It was a fucking nightmare.
First, we had to separate all the custom protein orders in proper allergen order.
I do not remember exactly, but it went something like this.
First, all the whey orders would be made. Then all the whey and egg orders had to be made. Then all the whey, egg, and wheat orders had to be made. Then we had to clean everything. Log that we cleaned and started over again.
First, start with all the egg orders, then the egg/wheat orders. Do you see where I am going with this?
We had to make sure that we CLEANED our equipment everytime we switched allergen ingredients. Again a fucking nightmare. Mixers, bowls, scoops, and scales all had to be cleaned before starting another batch of custom protein orders that contained allergens. We also had to make all the batches of custom protein orders that did NOT contain allergens.
And believe it or not, the FDA wanted us to perform an allergen test on our cleaning methods to validate that the method we we’re doing to clean the allergens from our mixing apparatuses was adequate. Everything that you do needs to be validated in the eyes of the FDA. Meaning that you just cannot assume that because you cleaned something it is “clean.” You had to use a certain cleaner product, use it a certain way, dilute it a certain way, clean the equipment a certain way, and then conduct a swab test on the stuff you cleaned. Then we had to send the swab test to a lab to validate our cleaning method was truly washing the allergen away from the equipment and utensils that we we’re using. Not only that but you had to have all this documented in your Standard Operating Manual as well as retain all the cleaning documents and tests.
Do I think that this customization company is doing these tests? I have no clue, I hope they are, because if they are not cleaning for allergens, they are putting a lot of people at risk, besides violating some of the 110’s for food allergen control. As you can see this is no easy task. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. The paperwork only on our allergen plan was massive and required several employees.
Without a doubt powder is getting spilled by the people making custom protein powder. Unless this customization copmany has robotic equipment making custom protein, and this isn’t even guaranteed, it takes a human person to scoop the powder from out where it came from (a bag, a drum, or container, etc.an) and weigh it out. Look what happens when you scoop protein powder out of your own container or bag yourself, most of the time you spill it correct? Now picture doing this hundreds of times a day. With hundres of formulas, and hundred of pounds of powder. For example if you have a 10 lbs order of protein, you need to scoop out a lot of powder. And if you want to be quick and make the custom protein, you scoop out a lot, and that powder is going to get spilled. Where does this powder go that gets spilled? On the floor a lot of times, but other times it gets spilled into the other bags and drums of protein. See my sketch above.
It should be clear that it is impossible to stop cross-contamination of ingredients. If you order custom protein from whomever is making your custom protein powder you can be sure you are getting every ingredient inside their mixing area, sometime or another. Not only that but if you have a problem with one of the big 8 allergens, NEVER order a custom protein powder or custom supplement, the allergens cannot be controlled.
Weighing & Measuring.
I invented protein percentages back in 1998. This customization company stole my idea. I like to say stole, but this customization company really just copied it. It’s the American way I guess. But fuck anyone who can’t come up with original ideas and have to copy someone else’s. But anyway I came up with the idea of protein percentages so everyone would know EXACTLY how much protein they were getting instead of being scammed by proprietary protein blends. So no Jim Stopanni didnt create protein percentages either, I did back in 1998. It was a damn good idea, I sold a boat load of protein and my customers were happy. However it was doomed to fail. First I used to do the calculations by hand. Did I make errors? Of course I did, humans will make errors. Did people receive wrong formula? Of course they did. Did I do all this intentionally? Of course not. This was my baby, I was trying to revolutionize the supplement industry, which I did accomplish, but it had it flaws which was the human aspect. As I got more and more custom orders it became more and more difficult to do all the math. And of course more human errors were made and more customers got the wrong formulas sent to them.
As the business grew I purchased a software program to calculate the ingredients we had to use for each and every custom batch. Again a fucking nightmare. Look at my custom formula below that I created at this customization companies website, the one with 16 different ingredients.
15% Whey isolate,
10% pea protein
10% hydrolyzed whey
10% whole egg
5% hydrolyzed whey
Now lets say I order 10lbs of chocolate. First you need to calculate how many grams of chocolate flavoring are needed to flavor 10lbs. We used 34.5 grams of cocoa per pound. So
10 X 34.5 = 345 grams
Now that needs to be subtracted from every pound, thus we used 416 grams X 10 lbs
4160 grams of total powder that was not flavoring.
Then you had to figure out how many grams of each ingredient to use. In this formula above it is 10 ingredients
15% Whey isolate, 624 grams
10% pea protein 416 grams
10% micellar 416 grams
10% hemp 416 grams
10% hydrolyzed whey 416 grams
10% MCT 416 grams
10% oat 416 grams
10% pumpkin 416 grams
10% whole egg 416 grams
5% hydrolyzed whey 416 grams
That’s a lot of math right? Now the human mixer has to weigh each and everyone of these ingredients out. Scooping and spilling the powder into the measuring bowl. This formula alone could take 30 minutes to make, and that’s pretty fast. Again, just try to picture yourself doing this at home with your protein, powder goes everywhere. 416 grams is almost 1 pound of powder.
To make matters worse, I gave people the option of adding things like enzymes and vitamins and minerals. Another thing this customization company stole from me. How does that formulate into the mixture? Typically we would have to subtract the total powder to make room for the vitamins and other additives. That would be more math. However I would allege this customization company simply scoops it out and tosses it into the final 10 lbs of this formula, giving me more than 10 lbs of powder. However I do not see anywhere on this customization companies’s site just how many grams of total vitamin powder they add or total enzyme powder they add, its a mystery.
Now if you want to do things right the mixer SHOULD be checking off each ingredient that he puts in the final powder. However, that would take forever. This lead to more human errors. Forgetting ingredients, adding to much, adding to little. It is impossible to make a custom protein powder formula without some of the ingredients being off.
MIXING (the biggest problem of making custom protein,)
When you make a custom protein formula you are letting people order any amount of pounds they want. From 1 lbs to 1,000 lbs. Thus you need a way to mix 1 lb of powder. You need mixers of all sizes. Believe me when I tell you this, but I tried everything and anything to mix these powders. From power tools, to paint shakers. The powder goes everywhere! The most efficient way to mix a custom protein powder is with a power drill and a paint mixer on the end of it. Like this one.
These mixers however created a few problems.
- The would break easily. We burned through these things like crazy. It got to the point where every week I would go to a welder down the road from the Proteinfactory.com and he would fix these mixers we used and weld them back together.
- Impossible to clean. The powder would get caked into the crevices of this mixer, thus every time a mixer would use it, cross-contamination would occur.
- flying powder. Talk about powder flying all over. If human mixer wasnt careful, the powder would fly all over the place, it was a common occurance.
We used this mixer as well.
This is a Hobart vertical cutter. I paid $12,000 for it and sold it for $1,500 to satisfy the FDA when I told them I would no longer be making custom protein. We would use this to make 10 lbs to 15 lbs of custom protein. You couldnt fit any more powder int his machine. And 1 lbs was to little. This had its drawbacks because it took a long time to clean and if you had an order of 15 lbs of more, you’d have to make the formula twice.
Packing the protein
Now after the custom protein formula was made it needed to be packed. How do you get the powder from the mixing bowl into the packaging. Well they do sell machines that do it, but again, not for 1 lbs. Thus it has to be done by a human. That means spillage. There is simply no way to package up custom protein powder without spilling the powder, which leads to more contanimation.
In conclusion, custom protein powder is a great idea, however it is not realistic. In 1998 I hatched this idea from my brain and turned it into a mult-million dollar businss. However it was flawed. Even though I considered myself a revolutionary supplement company that was allowing people to get what they want, I would have to say 2% of the time they were not. I would have to guess that for every 100 custom orders we did, up to 5 would have some sort of mistake, maybe more. In the eyes of the FDA this is not acceptable. And this makes it a federal violation and the FDA has a right to file an injunction and close a business down. The FDA gave a company like mine a deadline of 2010 to comply. . In 2011, that little blonde FDA inspector, dressed in a miltary uniform that could swear was wearing a white thong and white lace bra, wrote a report that would end protein customization after 13 years. The Code of Federal Regulations 111’s, makes it impossible phyically and financially to operate a custom protein supplement business. I have proven that with what I wrote above. This customization company is still making custom protein supplements. The custom formula that I made above contains vitamins and minerals and enzymes which by legal defination, makes it a dietary supplement, and therefore falls under the 111’s, not the 110’s. Therefore this customization company is violating federal regulations. However this customization company believes they have navigated away from the 111’s by labeling their custom protein with a nutrition facts panel instead of a supplement facts panel, thus putting them under the 110’s. The same plan that I tried and failed at. However, at the end of the day, this is bad for the consumer because this customization company, if the FDA is allowing them to operate under the 110’s, is not required to test their custom batches of protein powders after they make it. Which means it is anyone’s guess that the formula is what it says it is.
You can find several companies on the internet that make custom protein powder. A company called Mosaic Nutrition can also be found when you google custom protein. However I remember that he was seeking funding for his “revolutionary business”. I sent him an email telling him that #1 your business is nothing new, I invented protein customization in 1998. #2, I proceeded to tell him that his business was doomed to fail in a round about way. Right now if you go to his site, you cant order custom protein from what I have found. Seems like he might have taking my advice and used his brain and realized I was correct.
Thus making this customization company the sole company to customize protein. You are going to of course ask, why hasnt the FDA shut this customization company down? I ask the same thing myself. I googled 483 warning letter about this customization company and couldnt find anything from the FDA. Is it possible the FDA has not inspected them yet? Maybe, I have no idea really. Does it piss me off that the person that invented custom protein, ME, is out of business and the company that stole my idea is still in busines? Fuck yes it does. But I’ve gotten over it because I know if you want to be the highest quailty protein powder company in the world, which my company Proteinfactory.com is right now, you cannot make custom protein powder. You need to test protein powder AFTER it has been packaged, which is what my company does now for every single batch. The FDA has a microscope up my ass. We spend thousands of dollars to follow every single point in the regulations and to provide all my customers with 3rd party lab tested protein powder. 95% of the protein companies out there, do not test their protein powders for quality. History has shown us and I have written many articles about protein spiking and the most recent failed lab tests of major protein companies that Stockton College came out with. The protein business is filled with dirty scoundrels. Companies that will rip you off at any chance they get. History has shown us numerous companies that were protein spiking.
Look, the FDA are not the bad guys, they are the good guys. They want to make sure that people are receiving quality protein powder and supplements and that they are getting what they paid for. If it was not for the FDA the supplement industry would be a very, very bad place. The FDA made Proteinfactory.com a better company. Without a doubt the protein powder that I sell, that I feel is the highest quality in the world is because of the 111’s. The 111’s is technically written instructions on how a protein powder should be sold to the consumer to guarantee the highest quality possible.
Proteinfactory.com sells the highest quality protein powders in the world because we have the highest quality control standards and testings in place. However, if you want protein powder that is not free of contaminates, that could contain foreign ingredients, allergens, missing ingredients, ingredients overdosed and underdosed, not lab tested after it is made, then purchase yourself some custom protein powder. Unless a custom protein powder is tested for strength, identity, and compositioin AFTER it is made, then unfortunately it is going to be low quality, untested powder, and not the best your money could buy. Instead, buy a protein powder that is sold by a supplement company that does not circumnavigate around the 111’s and downgrades to the 110’s. Buy a protein powder from a supplement company that follows the 111’s which ensures you are getting the best protein powder possibly. Our whey isolate is great stuff
Train hard and supplement smart
Inventor of Custom Protein Powder
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.