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Food & Beverage

Japan lab turns wood into drinkable spirit in global first

From cedar to oak, each tree gives liquor a distinctive flavor

Though spirits infused with the aroma of wood already exist, these are the first to be made directly from wood. (Photo by Masaki Fushii)

TSUKUBA, Japan -- An institute backed by the Japanese Forestry Agency is working to commercialize the world's first spirits made from wood, hoping to breathe new life into the country's struggling forestry industry.

A new research building was completed Wednesday at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Tsukuba, a city around 50 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. The facility is meant to serve as a centralized hub for the development of wood-based spirits, which previously had been spread out across the area.

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