Putting baby poo into sausages could turn traditional cured meats such as chorizo and pepperoni into a health food, researchers have said.
According to experts at Catalonia's Institute of Food and Agricultural Research's (IRTA), putting bacteria from baby poo into sausages will make them a health food, similar to probiotic yoghurts.
Currently, cured sausages made from ground meat, salt, sugar, spices and curing agents are fermented with bacteria found in raw meat naturally, LiveScience reports.
However, over recent years scientists have found foods containing probiotic bacteria have a range of health benefits, such as burning fat, lowering inflammation and preventing gastrointestinal disorders.
As a result, the Spanish team has suggested probiotic bacteria found in baby faeces could be used in fermented sausages to provide similar health benefits.
Probiotic bacteria only works if it can survive acids in our digestive system and, as a result, the researchers focused on microbes found in human poo.
Anna Jofré, from IRTA, said: "Probiotic fermented sausages will give an opportunity to consumers who don't take dairy products the possibility to include probiotic foods to their diet."
The team found two kinds of bacteria in faeces. One, called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteriumm, are commonly used in probiotics and was abundant in baby poo. "Infant faeces are natural samples, easy to obtain," Jofré said.
After fermenting six batches of sausages with baby poo, they found they were safe for people to eat. Just one of the strains of bacteria became dominant within the sausage – a strain from the baby poo.
This strain grew to such high levels it was enough to produce healthy effects in people.
Tasters also noted the sausages did not change in flavour. "We ate them, and they tasted very good," Jofré told LiveScience.