REDWOOD CITY — After three years of research and development, Cana Technology is emerging from stealth with the world’s first countertop molecular beverage printer to give people any beverage, anytime, with ultra-low waste.
Cana was founded by The Production Board (TPB), a holding company established to solve the most fundamental problems that affect our planet. TPB, which has invested over $30 million in Cana to demonstrate and deliver key scientific and technical milestones, is reimagining global production systems across food, agriculture, biomanufacturing, human health and the broader life sciences.
Cana is helping accelerate decentralized manufacturing by eliminating the supply chain inefficiencies of centralized systems born of the Industrial Revolutions. The company’s molecular beverage printer prototype is the first step in building a technology platform to create all household consumables at the point of consumption, with minimal environmental impact. Based on advances in liquid dispense technologies and flavor chemistry, Cana’s goal is to eliminate the need for bottling, packaging, shipping and other manufacturing waste.
About the size of a toaster oven, Cana’s molecular beverage printer produces thousands of beverages – from juice to coffee to hard seltzers to cocktails. Cana’s prototype also enables infinite sophisticated variations, such as high-vitamin post-workout recovery drinks, low-alcohol mimosas or low-sugar iced teas. From sugar and alcohol levels to portion size and vitamins, consumers can customize their beverage their way.
The $2 trillion global beverage industry uses hundreds of trillions of liters of water, emits 543 million metric tons of CO2, and fuels the global trash crisis with more than 400 billion single-use plastic containers every year. While most beverages are 90%+ water and <2% of the volume of a beverage contains all the compounds that differentiate that beverage, Cana’s technology can, by reducing the number of compounds needed to make a beverage, ship them direct to the home, and enable infinite beverage printing options.
“The food and beverage industry needs to be reimagined so that the world can escape carbon-intensive, trash-generating, 20th century centralized systems of production,” said Cana CEO Matt Mahar, who previously led teams for Vivint Smart Home and Nike. “Our vision at Cana is to make the global beverage industry sustainable with molecular printers in every home, so people can get any drink they want, anytime they want – without torching the planet.”
Cana plans to double its headcount in 2022 as it ramps towards commercial launch. The company is actively recruiting additional team members across hardware engineering, software engineering, embedded software, creative development, and operations.
Cana’s team spent years studying what we drink at the molecular level, commercializing breakthrough research in flavor chemistry.
Cana scientists identified and isolated the specific trace compounds that drive flavor and aroma for thousands of unique commercially available beverages. They created the world’s first universal beverage ingredient set, which enables the recreation of thousands of different drinks using a simplified set of ingredients that can be printed out of a long-lasting ingredient cartridge.
Cana hardware engineers designed, tested, and have now demonstrated a novel microfluidic liquid dispense technology that can affordably, quickly, and accurately combine Cana’s individual flavoring ingredients in a small form factor, delivering a cheaper, tastier beverage than the commercially available bottled options.
Printing all canned, bottled, and plastic beverages consumed at home would save the typical American family over 100 containers per month and, at scale, could reduce the use of plastic and glass containers, water waste, and the CO2 emissions of global beverage manufacturing by more than 80%.
At scale, Cana could eradicate the need for plastic, aluminum, glass and other waste from at-home beverage containers. In addition, Cana would eliminate the need to buy, store, dispose of, and recycle cans, containers, bottles, and tetra packs in your home.
“We can’t keep shipping heavy bottles of water around the world – it’s ridiculous. And we can’t keep nagging people to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle,’” said Bharat Vasan, Cana’s Chairman of the Board. “We need a better system – a lifestyle upgrade that offers consumers a better product, saves money and also happens to shrink our environmental footprint.”
The first-of-its-kind molecular beverage printing prototype system is now operating at Cana’s headquarters in Redwood City. Cana will share more product details in the coming months.