A new alternative to bottled water is to hit the UK next week, according to press reports. Vivatap, the result of nine years' research by a group of Norwegian naturopaths, is a sachet that can be added to tap water to make it taste as if it came from a bottle, the Daily Telegraph reports today.

Vivatap is made from natural ingredients including coral algae, chitosan, derived from shellfish, and vitamin C. One sachet dropped into a two-litre jug of tap water will be ready to drink in five minutes.

The coral algae add tiny amounts of minerals to the water, including calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, and bring the pH level closer to neutral. Chitosan kills bacteria, while the antioxidant vitamin C, derived from rose-hips, removes chlorine.

The sachets will be available from supermarkets, pharmacies and health stores from next week at £2.99 for 18 sachets, which works out at around 8p a litre.

Vivatap will be distributed in the UK by Brunel Healthcare.

For more information, visit www.vivatap.co.uk.