Officials in the US have sparked controversy by approving a powdered alcohol that can be mixed into drinks, snorted or even sprinkled onto food.
Federal regulators last year briefly gave the green light to the makers of Palcohol before changing their decision, saying they should not have done so.
But this week, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau said issues that had been preventing the granting of approval had now been addressed. Spokesman Tom Hogue told the Associated Press that four varieties of Palcohol had been approved.
“This a step forward," Mark Phillips of Lipsmark, the company that makes Palcohol, told The Independent.
Individual US states can regulate the sale of alcohol and several have already announced plans to prevent the sale of Palcohol.
Concerns have included abuse of the product by young people, the potential to snort the powder and whether Palcohol’s portability and light weight would make it easy to sneak alcohol into public events or spike drinks.
Lipsmark's website said Palcohol was the invention of Mr Phillips and that a patent was being sought.
And the reason he came up with the idea?
"Mark is an active guy...hiking, biking, camping, kayaking. After hours of an activity, he sometimes wanted to relax and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage. But those activities, and many others, don't lend themselves to lugging heavy bottles of wine, beer or spirits. The only liquid he wanted to carry was water," says the website.
It adds: "So he thought wouldn't it be great to have alcohol in powder form so all one had to do is add water."
Questioned as to whether or not powder and water could meet the taste test, Mr Phillips replied: "It does not compare to a Cosmopolitan or a Margarita made with liquid alcohol. But it's for when there is no liquid alcohol available. And it does taste good."
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