‘First’ snack to cut alcohol absorption launches

by Owen Bellwood

American start-up Zeno Functional Foods has launched a snack-sized protein bar said to be the "world's first" food specifically designed to reduce alcohol absorption.

Eating the Sobar before drinking is said to reduce peak blood alcohol concentration by 50% – compared to a 25% reduction after eating a regular snack mix. In clinical trials that compared the Sobar's ability to reduce alcohol absorption, a group of 21 healthy adults were tested after eating either no food, a 210 calorie Sobar, 210 calories of a snack mix or a 635 calorie full meal right before consuming two alcoholic drinks. Although the research found the greatest reduction in blood alcohol concentration after eating the full meal (67%), on a per-calorie basis the Sobar outperformed both other foods. Sobar inventor Joseph Fisher MD PhD, said: "This research project started after I had too much to drink on an empty stomach at a wedding. "After that experience I thought that there was a huge need for a specialised, low calorie snack that could efficiently and effectively reduce alcohol absorption." According to the brand, Sobar is able to reduce the amount of alcohol in the blood by decreasing the stomach's emptying rate, as alcohol is broken down by enzymes in the stomach lining. Sobar contains a blend of milk protein and insoluble oat fibre that has been formulated to keep alcohol in the stomach for longer, allowing it to be broken down. Available in white chocolate almond, honey peanut and caramel macchiato flavours, Sobar bars are available to buy from getsobars.com for US$30 per pack of 12.