Tried and Tested: Futuristic Czech Space Food

A new locally-produced food-drink named for biblical bread is hoping to break into the U.S. market; we gave it a try

Heaven Labs, producer of Mana, a “food drink” named for the biblical bread, has garnered quite the following in the years since its launch in 2014.

The drink, available powdered or in a new ready-made version is meant to replace entire meals by incorporating all of the daily nutrients the body needs, no chopping, slicing, or sautéing required.

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“We pissed off a lot of řízek eaters,” Jakub Krejčík, the company’s founder, recently told iDnes.cz.

The publication also reported that Krejčík hopes to launch his invention in California where it is sure to be well received by West Coast health nuts.

Meanwhile Mana is currently being used by members of the Czech Hydronaut Project, an underwater research laboratory and training station outside of Prague.

With a third of its product being distributed throughout other European countries, Mana clearly has its admirers, with one elated customer stating: “I don’t even have to put powder in water anymore.”

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And while the product’s target audience is clearly athletes and other extreme sports types, it is also intended for desk-bound office workers who are too busy to get up from their computers to eat, making it the perfect food for this busy editor and her curious colleagues.

My co-worker, Šarka, and I recently sampled Mana. Me: 40-year-old, breastfeeding mother of two who is hungry 24-7. She: 27-year-old single who skips lunch for the gym.

With two such different diets and body types, surely one of us would embrace the magic of Mana, right?

The experiment started off well enough as we opened our cute little heart-stamped, white UHT containers promising 20 percent of our daily nutrients including lipids from coconut and Beta-Glucans from oats.

The drink had the texture of a warm milkshake and a hint of banana flavour.

The faintly yeasty finish led to quite an intense aftertaste which was to no one’s liking.

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I’m fairly sure that anyone who would manage to polish off the drink in its entirety would feel full—it rivals porridge in thickness—but neither I, nor my co-worker, were that person.

And while no one was ready to fork up a řízek, we were both really glad that another colleague had brought bread of another kind that day (homemade banana bread)!


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