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The Asahi Shinbun Digital site reports on a new patent for mega-brewery Gekkeikan – one that doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. Literally.

Realising that tōshitsu zero sake (not entirely clear if it’s meant to be “sugar-free” or “carbohydrate-free”) was less likely to make the drinker’s breath smell like sake, Gekkeikan applied for a patent.

The claim was tested by having drinkers swallow 600 ml of 15% junmai or 13.5% “zero-sugar” sake, waiting two hours, then comparing the quantity of six odour components in their breath.

Results showed there were less of the components present after drinking the “zero-sugar” sake, seemingly due to fewer odorous substances being produced by the body’s metabolism.

Gekkeikan’s “zero-sugar” sake was the first on the market, launched in September 2008. As you might expect, it’s dry rather than sweet and therefore appeals to those who like chō-tanrei (超淡麗, extremely light and refreshing) sake.