Dutch students develop powdered alcohol

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch students have developed powdered alcohol which they say can be sold legally to minors.

The latest innovation in inebriation, called Booz2Go, is available in 20-gramme packets that cost 1-1.5 euros (70 pence-1 pound).

Top it up with water and you have a bubbly, lime-coloured and -flavoured drink with just 3 percent alcohol content.

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"We are aiming for the youth market. They are really more into it because you can compare it with Bacardi-mixed drinks," 20-year-old Harm van Elderen told Reuters.

Van Elderen and four classmates at Helicon Vocational Institute, about an hour's drive from Amsterdam, came up with the idea as part of their final-year project.

"Because the alcohol is not in liquid form, we can sell it to people below 16," said project member Martyn van Nierop.

The legal age for drinking alcohol and smoking is 16 in the Netherlands.

In Germany, alcopops -- sweet drinks containing alcohol and in powder form -- caused quite a stir when launched on to the market. Alcohol powder, classified as a flavouring, was sold in the United States three years ago.

The students said companies interested in making the product commercially could avoid taxes because the alcohol was in powder form. A number of companies are interested, they said.