First there was breast milk ice cream, then came placenta smoothies. And now Spanish scientists have made sausages using baby poo.
Would you eat them?
The contents of your baby's nappy may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind if you were planning to whip up a batch of bangers, but scientists have discovered that it might just be the key to making a healthier sausage.
Baby poo is rich in two types of probiotic bacteria: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which boost gut health and are also found in probiotic yoghurts and drinks.
There is increasing evidence that, when consumed, probiotics may aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and help with a range of problems including diarrhoea and food allergies.
In an attempt to find ways to get more probiotics into our diets, Spanish researchers found that they could be added to the sausage making process - as many types of sausages, including pepperoni and salami, are made with the aid of bacterial fermentation, which helps give them their tangy flavour.
The researchers took stool samples from the nappies of 43 babies aged up to six months old. They then used bacteria cultured from the stools to make 'fuet', a Mediterranean fermented pork sausage, which is similar to chorizo.
They also tried making sausages using commercial probiotic strains of bacteria - but only the sausages containing the bacteria from baby poo were found to contain 'good' microbes at a level that was "enough to produce health-promoting effects to people," according to the researchers, who reported their findings in the journal Meat Science.
What's more, professional tasters confirmed that the sausages tasted like regular fuet.
"We ate them, and they tasted very good," study co-author Anna Jofré told LiveScience. "Probiotic fermented sausages will give an opportunity to consumers who don't take dairy products the possibility to include probiotic foods to their diet."
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