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London - If you are watching your weight, but diet soft drinks have never been to your taste, there could now be an alternative.
Pepsi has launched a version of its cola drink that it claims acts as a fat blocker.
Pepsi Special is made with dextrin – an indigestible form of dietary fibre. Studies on rats suggest this can reduce the absorption of fat in the body and lower cholesterol levels.
There is no information available about how much sugar and corn syrup Pepsi Special contains, compared to standard Pepsi, but a spokesman said it had a “crisp refreshing and unique” aftertaste.
The drink, which is first being sold in Japan, comes in a “luxury” gold and black bottle with the Pepsi logo on the side.
Pepsi hope the drink will have the same runaway success as the Japanese drink Kirin Mets Cola, which also contains dextrin.
It will be distributed by Suntory International.
It is not the first time Pepsi has released an unusual version of its drink in Japan. In the past it has sold cucumber and yoghurt-flavoured colas. This Christmas it will be selling Pepsi White, which will have a tangerine tang.
Pepsi Special, which will cost ¥150 or R16.80, joins a crowded functional food market in Japan. where consumers can find everything from fat-fighting chocolate bars to age-defying alcoholic cocktails.
There is no word yet about if and when Pepsi Special will go on sale elsewhere in the world.
Sue Baic, a spokeswoman from the British Dietetic Association, was sceptical about Pepsi Special’s health claims.
“I think this drink is unlikely to make much difference to how much fat you absorb,” she said.
“I can’t see any studies that show dextrin works in people. Even if it has an effect on rats, that doesn’t mean it will translate into humans.
“I suggest a higher fibre diet with fruit, vegetables and whole grains would be a better way to fill you up and make you feel less hungry. Then you would get the benefits of all the vitamins and minerals as well.” – Daily Mail