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Bacteria from Baby Poo Used to Make Sausages

By Magdeline Lum

Tasmanian devil facial tumour is evolving, and scientists have created a low-fat sausage using bacteria harvested from infant faeces.

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A dirty nappy is not something that awakens the appetite but Spanish scientists could change this. The scientists at Catalonia's Institute of Food and Agricultural Research have created a sausage with less fat using bacteria harvested from the faeces of infants. The bacteria was employed to ferment the meat.

If the part about using bacteria to ferment meat to make a sausage does not sit well with you, it is something that is already in place. The pepperoni on your pizza undergoes bacterial fermentation, and so does another favourite, salami. The tangy flavour is from the activity of bacteria that produce lactic acids. These acids impede the growth of harmful bacteria in the meat.

The bacteria harvested is a microorganism that is added to foods now in the belief that it provides health benefits and falls under the category of probiotic bacteria. Pro­biotics are thought to be beneficial for people with gastrointestinal disorders. The strains collected by the research group were Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

The bacteria were collected from 23 stool samples of infants up to the age of 6 months old. While the source of the bacteria may sound strange, the commercial strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, was first isolated from the intestinal tract of a healthy person in 1983. It has since been added to yoghurt and other dairy products.

Why would...

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