Japanese scientists develop new ‘wood wine’

World Today

Japan is known for its sake, or Japanese rice wine. But it may soon be known for a new alcoholic drink. Japanese scientists have developed a new wine….made from wood.
CGTN’s Terrence Terashima reports.

It may sound strange using a inedible ingredient to produce an alcoholic drink. But the beverage has a distinct aroma, and qualities from the wood used.  The strong aroma is reminiscent of that from aged, wooden barrels in the distilleries. The smell of cedars, sweet scent of cherries, and the fruity character of birch can be found in the wine.

Until recently, wood was used to produce bioethanol, which is highly toxic if consumed by humans. But these researchers invented a method that pulverizes wood into a creamy paste to start the fermentation process, using yeast and enzymes. They then distill it to produce a drinkable beverage.

Unfortunately, the products have not been cleared for safety, or for a taste test. They still have to go through a number of strict, national standard tests for safety. But the researchers are confidant, and hope to clear these tests within three years.