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  • Richard Hemming MW
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  • Richard Hemming MW
1 Apr 2009

In a worldwide exclusive, we give you news of an astonishing innovation in wine technology. In the latest edition of the investment series Dragon's Den on BBC2, currently in production, a startling technology will be revealed that has massive potential to influence the whole world of wine.

The episode in question involves a group of young Dutch entrepreneurs who successfully obtain a £200,000 investment, split equally between all the 'dragons' (pictured), for their invention. Their company specialises in the manufacture and distribution of wine … in powdered form.

The people behind the revelation first made headlines two years ago as students, for developing alcohol powder. That technology is the cornerstone of their new project. The full details of the process are expected to be explained when the programme is broadcast later this year, but it is understood to be applicable to any wine: that is, any and every wine can be put through the patented technology and be extracted as powder.

As Ralf Loipo, CEO of Dessicativin, explains on the show, after shipping, the powder can be put in a standard glass wine bottle for the final stages of distribution. The options are then for the consumer to buy it dry and rehydrate it as necessary, or, as is far more likely, for the retailer or restaurateur to undertake this. The process is simple: the bottle is filled with distilled water, shaken and re-sealed. What then goes on sale is entirely indistinguishable from the real thing.

The appeal of the product functions on this level: consumers will be none the wiser as to whether their bottle has been through the process. Extensive taste tests have apparently proved that quality is unaffected, and several large-scale producers based in Australia and California are understood to have already placed substantial orders for the technology.

They have also received substantial EU funding because of the carbon footprint reduction made possible by use of this technology. Shipping wine as powder will potentially reduce up to 90% of the weight and volume taken up by standard bottled wine freight. Dessicativin's proposition is formidable, and is borne out by the unequivocal support they got from the notoriously conservative panel of investors on Dragons' Den.

The technology hasn't yet reached UK retail shelves. But when it inevitably does, the incredible fact is that we may be none the wiser. What do you think? Comments below please.