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The Clean Label Project - From a Food Scientist's POV

May 9, 2018

This article focuses on the Clean Label Project's 2018 Protein Powder Study – its results, criticisms, and (in the sake of constructive feedback and progress) proposed solutions for the organization.

In February, the Clean Label Project (CLP) released a report of their findings unique to the protein powder market. This is following reports in Pet Food (April 2017) and Infant Formula & Baby Food (October 2017).

How to Read this Article.

This article is divided into two main parts:

Part 1: An accurate overview of the CLP's approach, including:
- What happened
- The results
- Image 1 infographic

Part 2: A constructive review of the CLP's approach, including:
- Image 2 infographic
- Recommended revisions
- Questions
- Conclusion

If you're already familiar with the Clean Label Project's 2018 Protein Powder Study, you may want to skip ahead to Part 2.

Part 1: Overview of CLP's Current Findings.

What Happened.

The CLP completed a "study" of protein powder products. A total of 52 brands were analyzed. These brands were selected because they composed the top selling protein powder products according to Nielsen and Amazon’s best seller list. According to CLP, analysis per product involved a screening of 130+ toxins, which include heavy metals, BPA, pesticides, and other contaminants.

The Results.

The CLP released the below infographic (Image 1) as a part-summary of their findings. On their website, you can access “Protein Powder Raw Data,” “Brand Report Cards,” “Protein Powder Product Rating Lists,” and “Protein Powder Study FAQs.” It appears a fairly transparent process.

Following Image 1 is a straight-forward overview of the CLP's current "study" template (applied to the 2018 Protein Powder Study's findings). This article is split into 2 main parts: Part 1 is intended to inform the reader of the current methodology used by the CLP. The latter portion (Part 2) is intended to provide a straight-forward, transparent criticism that can be easily followed along by the reader using Image 2 and its corresponding key.

IMAGE 1. The infographic was released as a part-summary of the Clean Label Project's findings in their 2018 Protein Powder Study | Source: [2]

When accessing the findings of the