NEW YORK (CBS Atlanta) – It’s been said you don’t want to see how the sausage is made…and there may be one more reason you just don’t want to know.
Because the secret ingredient for healthier sausage may be baby poop.
LiveScience.com reports that adding certain bacteria found in baby poop makes the sausages healthier, and even tastier.
It has to do with, well, how sausage is made.
Most sausages, including pepperoni and salami, take advantage of bacterial fermentation which gives the savory meats their red color, tangy flavor and chewy texture.
Makers of bread, beer and many cheeses use bacteria in the fermenting process.
Doctors have known for a while about the benefits of probiotic bacteria, often used in yogurt.
It can burn away belly fat, help with indigestion, inflammation and other gastro-intestinal problems.
Scientists in Spain reasoned that probiotic bacteria could be used in fermented sausages as well.
Fermented sausages are made from ground meats, salt, sugar, spices and curing agents stuffed into casings.
They wanted to make sure any probiotics in sausage would survive the trip through the intestines.
And so they turned to the material that comes out of our bodies…specifically baby poop.
The scientists focused on 43 fecal samples of healthy infants up to 6-months-old, which were taken from soiled diapers provided by new parents.
The two kinds of bacteria used most often in probiotics are far more abundant in infant poop than in adult excrement.
In addition, “infant feces are natural samples, easy to obtain,” said study co-author Anna Jofre, a food microbiologist at Catalonia’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Research’s food-safety program in Girona, Spain.
He emphasizes the bacterial strains they used are safe for people.
Then they made sausage, a Mediterranean pork called “fuet.” Of course they didn’t put any feces into the sausage, they only used the bacteria they culled from the samples.
Testing several varieties of probiotics, including some they got from the lab, they put the sausages through the fermenting process. There was also a batch without any probiotics as a control group.
One of the strains from the infant feces was the most promising, growing to a level that can improve health effects for people.
And, in case you’re worried, “We ate them, and they tasted very good,” Jofre told LiveScience.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)