Well, this lends new meaning to "not wanting to see how the sausage is made." A team of Spanish scientists has been using bacteria cultivated from infant poop in order to ferment healthier sausages.
Researchers at Catalonia's Institute of Food and Agricultural Research's (IRTA) food-safety program in Girona, Spain, have, in fact, been using baby poop as part of the process of fermenting fuet, a type of fermented pork sausage. They took 43 fecal samples from the diapers of infants up to six months old (the diapers were provided by midwives), and cultivated three strains of bacteria from the feces. They then fermented six batches of sausage using the infant bacteria (no actual fecal matter touched the sausages) and three strains of commercial fermenting bacteria. They found that one of the infant strains became the dominant fermenting strain and that the sausages, which were low-fat, low-salt versions of fuet tasted just as good as full-fat, full-salt fuet.
So why harvest bacteria from infant poop? Well, harvesting bacteria from humans to use in food preparation is nothing new, and infant feces are a rich, easily obtainable source of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria, which are often used in probiotics. The researchers suggest that using probiotic bacteria to ferment sausage instead of the bacteria currently used could be a way for people to add probiotics to their diet and promote healthy gut flora. Of course, getting people to eat baby poop fuet could prove a challenge in itself.
Photo by havankevin.
Pooperoni? Baby-Poop Bacteria Help Make Healthy Sausages [LiveScience via Neatorama]