A new drinking straw that can turn dairy and fruit drinks into functional products looks set to revolutionise the soft drinks category. The probiotic LifeTop Straw, developed by BioGaia and marketed by Tetra Pak, releases an extra ingredient as liquid is sucked through it. The first products to incorporate the technology ­ Orchard Maid's yogurt drinks ­ are on shelf now in Tesco stores. Packs carry the telescopic straws along with directions explaining the concept. In the case of Orchard Maid the extra ingredient is a lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus reuteri ­ said to maintain the body's natural defences and balance the digestive system. Without the straw, the products are just yogurt drinks. Tetra Pak says LifeTop can take other bacterial ingredients and be used with other drinks. Because the extra ingredient is added to the straw as opposed to mixed in with the drink, processing difficulties ­ such as heating ­ are avoided. Jonathan Middlemiss, md of Orchard Maid, said the process allowed manufacturers to add an extra health dimension to products without having to reformulate them or increase prices. A Blueberry and Blackcurrant flavour has joined the two other variants in the Orchard Maid yogurt range. Rsp: 99p 250ml. {{P&P }}