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When the people who are making "nutritionally complete" foods like Soylent are developing their product, how do they know that they've covered all their bases? You need to have protein, carbohydrates, fats etc., but what about vitamins or minerals?

Has science produced a commonly accepted list of all the nutrients that humans need to live?

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For babies there is certainly a formula available for a complete menu for survival: formula*

Here are the nutrition facts from Nestlé's "Good Start":

baby food
Formula nutrition facts. source: Nestlé

Comparable lists are available for people that cannot eat normally (e.g. people in a comatose state) and are fed enteral or parenteral nutrition.

*. Remember though, breast is best :)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Turning to Nestlé for advice on healthy eating is like turning to Marlboro for advice on how to stop smoking. $\endgroup$ – Felix Dombek May 8 '17 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ @FelixDombek - it's not an advise on a healthy diet, it's a reference to the composition of baby formula. The *endnote is a dietary advice for infants though! $\endgroup$ – AliceD May 8 '17 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Is the answer to this specific question (let alone this forum) really the place for "parenting wars" fodder? $\endgroup$ – Oosaka May 8 '17 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ @RozennKeribin - this is not a parenting wars fodder at all. FelixDombek questions the credibility of my source and that's perfectly fine. In turn they wrote a new answer, which is even better! This is not a war nor fodder, it's called a discussion. $\endgroup$ – AliceD May 9 '17 at 7:50
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The most complete list of essential nutrients that I have found is here, together with some scientific references and some more "conditionally essential nutrients":

http://www.nutrientsreview.com/glossary/essential-nutrients

I'll reproduce the main list here:

Water

Vitamins

Vitamin A (retinol)

Vitamin B1 (thiamin)

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

Vitamin B5 (panthotenic acid)

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxin)

Vitamin B7 (biotin)

Vitamin B9 (folic acid, folate)

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin D (vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, and vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol)

Vitamin E (tocopherol)

Vitamin K (naphthoquinones)

Choline (vitamin Bp)

Minerals

Calcium

Chloride

Chromium

Copper

Iodine

Iron

Magnesium

Manganese

Molybdenum

Phosphorus

Potassium

Selenium

Sodium

Zinc

Amino acids

Isoleucine

Histidine

Leucine

Lysine

Methionine

Phenylalanine

Taurine

Tryptophan

Threonine

Valine

Fatty acids

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

Linoleic acid

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