Anna Jofre / IRTA
Sausages of a variety known as "fuet" and engineered to be healthier hang in a laboratory refrigerator
Want to see how sausage gets made? No you don't.
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Oddly, this tale starts with ... yogurt. With this fermented food practically taking over the dairy section of the supermarket, “probiotic” has become a household word. That’s because yogurt contains healthy bacteria called Lactobacillus that improve digestion and immunity. But why should Lactobacillus be limited to yogurt?
Researchers in Spain were able to make sausage with the same probiotic benefits as yogurt. The key? Selecting just the right strains of Lactobacillus. So naturally, the researchers turned to baby poop. Why poop? And why babies? Inside that dirty diaper is a rich population of Lactobacillus – and suppliers are easy to find. After isolating – and washing! – strains of bacteria from the poo, the scientists used them to ferment sausage.
The sausage "ripened" with the “poo-bacteria” has high enough levels of Lactobacillus to promote digestive health. Plus, it has less fat and salt! Most importantly, professional tasters say the sausage tastes great.
As for me, I'll just have a salad. Thank you!
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The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.