Diet beer offers a slim hope

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The prospect of the beer diet has moved a round closer with the development of a genetically engineered, high-strength lager with a low carbohydrate count.

The experimental brew, Nutfield Lyte, has been created by a team at Brewery Research Federation International, based in Redhill, Surrey, using a yeast that consumes starch at the same time as producing alcohol.

Less starch means less carbohydrate which produces fat when stored in the body. The beer, which has an alcohol strength of 6 per cent, has been granted a licence but has not yet gone into production.

Dean Madden, a scientist at the National Centre for Biotechnology Education, said:"The beer is brewed in exactly the same way as normal ales and it is only the yeast which has been tinkered with. As a result you have a high-strength lager which tastes just like other products but is less likely to leave drinkers with the dreaded beer belly."