Researchers propose making booze with gamma rays

3:56 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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(WXIA) - According to Sky News, researchers in Brazil say they have found a faster way to age the country's national drink cachaca - zapping it with gamma rays for a few minutes as opposed to allowing it to age naturally in barrels.

The Sky News article quotes Valter Artur of the Nuclear Energy Center at the University of Sao Paolo who says the drink "can be consumed right after it is irradiated."

The drink, Artur said, carries no radiation risk. Cachaca is a spirit similar to rum, that is made from fresh sugar cane juice, which is fermented and distilled.

The gamma radiation ionizes the rum and speeds up the chemical reactions that take place naturally, he said. However, the hardware necessary to use this process is expensive - each machine costs about $3.58 million.

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