Baby-poop bacteria to help make healthy sausages

Written by PTI | New York | Updated: Feb 24 2014, 17:07pm hrs
Scientists have found a bizarre new way of making sausages healthier - by using baby poop.

According to a new research, bacteria from baby poop can help make sausages, which could transform savoury meats into health foods much like probiotic yogurts.

Several types of sausages are made using bacterial fermentation, which helps give sausages their characteristic tangy flavour and provides them chewy texture and intense red colour, 'LiveScience' reported.

Scientists in Spain reasoned that probiotic bacteria could be used in fermented sausages.

"Probiotic fermented sausages will give an opportunity to consumers who don't take dairy products the possibility to include probiotic foods to their diet," said study co-author Anna Jofre from Catalonia's Institute of Food and Agricultural Research's (IRTA) food-safety programme in Girona, Spain.

Researchers focused on microbes found alive in human feces as for probiotic bacteria to work, they must survive the acids in the digestive tract.

They concentrated on 43 fecal samples of healthy infants up to 6 months old. The samples were taken from diapers, mostly provided by midwives in support groups for new parents.

The two kinds of bacteria used most often in probiotics, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, are far more abundant in infant poop than in adult excrement.

"Infant feces are natural samples, easy to obtain," Jofre said.

Scientists tried fermenting six batches of sausages using three strains of bacteria found in baby poop and three other, commercial probiotic strains of bacteria.

Previous research established the strains the researchers used from infant excrement were safe for people.

Specifically, the investigators made "fuet," a kind of Mediterranean fermented sausage.

Only one of the six strains of bacteria became the main, dominant microbes within the sausages: one of the strains from infant feces, the report said.

This strain grew "to levels of 100 million cells per gramme of sausage enough to produce health-promoting effects to people," Jofre said.