Sweden is considering allowing freeze-drying as a new method to bury the dead says the country's Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth

Speaking to the Swedish church's weekly paper Ms. Liljeroth said, $quot;I would like to push for the issue of freeze-drying. I think it is interesting and based on what I have heard I have a positive view of the method.$quot;

Using the system, the corpse is placed in a liquid nitrogen bath to take it down to -196C, then the body is broken down into a rough powder through mechanical vibrations. This environmentally friendly method cuts down on pollutants created from traditional methods and would cut emissions from crematoriums.

The whole process takes place in a facility resembling a crematorium and lasts for about two hours reducing a body weighing 75 kilograms (165 pounds) in life to 25 kilograms (55 pounds). However, the method is still illegal in Sweden despite groups campaigning for its widespread use. $quot;We will have to put forward a proposal to change the burial law,$quot; the minister said, adding that many of Sweden's bishops shared her positive view.

One company happy to see the method in the headlines is Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh whose company Promessa have specialised in the freeze-drying method. The Church of Sweden holds a five percent take in the venture, alongside Wiigh's 42 percent. Industrial gases company AGA Gas, part of Germany's Linde group, has taken a controlling stake of 53 percent in the company.