Alcohol is primarily known as a liquid, but it can also be whipped, solidified, and practically vaporized. But now it's available in powdered form — a product called "Palcohol" that was just approved by the U.S. government.
Alcohol powder is a molecular encapsulated alcohol that produces an alcoholic drink or meal when mixed with water. Because alcohol can be absorbed in a sugar derivate, it can be delivered as a powder and/or packed into capsules.
Last week, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) okayed seven versions of Palcohol, including Margarita and Cosmopolitan flavors. But since gaining approval, the Arizona-based firm, called Lipsmark LLC, has removed its description of the product from its website. Here's how Palcohol was being touted:
What's worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip. Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mixed drink for a fraction of the cost.
We've been talking about drinks so far. But we have found adding Palcohol to food is so much fun. Sprinkle Palcohol on almost any dish and give it an extra kick. Some of our favorites are the Kamikaze in guacamole, Rum on a BBQ sandwich, Cosmo on a salad and Vodka on eggs in the morning to start your day off right. Experiment. Palcohol is great on so many foods. Remember, you have to add Palcohol AFTER a dish is cooked as the alcohol will burn off if you cook with it…and that defeats the whole purpose.
But as BevLaw patent lawyer Daniel Christopherson reports, the promotional website is now more subdued, likely the result of the company not wanting to come across as being too controversial. Indeed, Lipsmark probably doesn't want to blow this opportunity as it took them four years to get TTB approval.
"I am not astonished that this is a real product — but I am absolutely astonished that this is approved," writes Christopherson. He believes that the patentability of Palcohol is very narrow and that a patent will not be effective at keeping competitors at bay.
Indeed, this is not a new concept. Similar products already exist in Germany (Subyou) and the Netherlands (Booz2go). Powdered alcohol has even been sold in the U.S. before, the subject of several patents.