Pepsi is launching Pepsi Special, a version of its cola drink that it claims acts as a fat blocker.
Pepsi Special is made with dextrin – an indigestible form of dietary fibre. Studies on rats suggest this can reduce the absorption of fat in the body and lower cholesterol levels.
There is no information about how much sugar and corn-syrup it contains, compared to standard Pepsi, but a spokesman said it would have a “crisp refreshing and unique” aftertaste.
The drink, which will first be sold in Japan, comes in a “luxury” gold and black bottle with the Pepsi logo emblazoned on the side.
Pepsi hope the drink will have the same runaway success as the Japanese drink Kirin Mets Cola, which also contains dextrin.
It will be distributed by Suntory International.
It is not the first time that Pepsi have released unusual versions of its drink in Japan. In the past they have sold cucumber and yoghurt-flavored colas. This Christmas they will be selling Pepsi White, which will have a tangerine tang.
Pepsi Special, which will cost 150Yen or $1.85, joins a crowded functional food market in Japan. Here consumers can find everything from fat-fighting chocolate bars to age-defying alcoholic cocktails.
There is no word yet on if and when Pepsi Special will go on sale in the U.S and Europe.
Sue Baic, a spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association, was skeptical about Pepsi Special’s health claims.
“I think this drink is unlikely to make much difference to how much fat you absorb,” she said.
“I can’t see any studies that shows dextrin works in people. Even if it has an effect on rats that doesn’t mean it will translate into humans.
“I suggest a higher fibre diet with fruit, vegetables and whole grains would be a better way to fill you up and make you feel less hungry. Plus then you would get the benefits of all the vitamins and minerals as well.”