There’s some good news for alcohol lovers in Japan. A team of researchers from Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute has invented a bark-based alcoholic beverage similar to the drinks kept in wooden barrels. According to researcher Kengo Magara, though fermented wood is already used in producing biofuel, it is unsuitable for human consumption. However, as the new method does not use heat or sulphuric acid to decompose wood, the beverage produced is fit for human consumption. The absence of these two components also helps the drink retain the wooden flavors of the trees. Magara called the new invention a little unusual and said, “We thought it would be interesting to think that alcohol could be made from something around here like trees.”
The researchers said the idea behind the woody beverage originated from witnessing abundant trees across the nation. The process to make alcoholic beverage may sound complex, but it is surprisingly simple. Fine wooden particles are made into a creamy paste and then mixed with yeast and enzymes to assist the fermentation process. So far, the researchers have made alcohol from cherry, birch and cedar trees, similar to traditional rice-wine sake. The institute now aims to collaborate with a private-sector partner to commercialize the product within the next three years.
Despite research and alcohol industry advocating health benefits of moderate drinking, even a glass of alcohol every day can do more harm than good. With time, a person may develop tolerance and desire a higher quantity to satiate his/her desire. Heavy drinking or binge drinking sessions would soon require professional alcohol addiction support at good alcohol abuse rehabilitation centers.
Stress-relieving and pleasure-seeking behavior common among drinkers
Most people drink alcohol to relieve stress or seek pleasure. Some do it out of societal pressure or peer influence in a bid to gain acceptance and respect. Moreover, the culture of drinking exists since old times, making it a much-loved beverage and a necessity. Wider availability of alcohol and aggressive promotion through social media channels and other media is helping increase the number of drinkers in recent times. This has inevitably led to a rise in cases of alcohol abuse, addiction, overdose and emergency room visits.
Given that alcohol can be obtained legally and has no stigma attached to its consumption, it is considered less harmful than other potent substances. On the contrary, regular or excessive drinking not just has devastating consequences on a person’s physical and mental health, but it also causes a significant social and economic burden. Depending on the severity of the illness, treatment for alcohol addiction may involve medically assisted detox, medications, behavioral therapies and counseling sessions.
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