New research indicates that live probiotic bacteria in baby poop can actually help make delicious sausages.
Many types of sausages, including pepperoni and salami, are made with the help of bacterial fermentation. The lactic acid these fermenting bacteria produce suppresses the spread of germs that would otherwise spoil the sausages.
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Probiotics are any bacteria that confer health benefits. And Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a probiotic that was isolated from human feces in 1983, is now widely used in products such as "buttermilks, yoghurts, milk, fruit drinks, 'daily dose' drinks and fermented whey-based drinks", says Mary Ellen Sanders, a consultant in probiotic microbiology.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that foods such as yoghurt that contain live probiotic bacteria can have a wide variety of health benefits.
For instance, these microbes could help burn away belly fat, prevent urinary-tract infections and fight infant gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation.
For probiotic bacteria to work, they must survive the acids in the digestive tract.
"Probiotic fermented sausages will give an opportunity to consumers, who do not take dairy products, to include probiotic foods to their diet," says Anna Jofre, a food microbiologist at Catalonia's Institute of Food and Agricultural Research, Spain.