Forget drinking urine or eating placenta pie, the human by-product researchers are now espousing the health benefits of is baby excrement. In a sausage.
Already being referred to as "pooperoni" on the internet, the fermented sausages were made with bacteria cultured from faeces taken from the nappies of infants.
And according to a Curtin University pharmaceutical science lecturer, the sausages could soon end up on our dinner plates.
Spanish researchers isolated three probiotic strains from infants' faeces and used them to manufacture their own twist on traditional Mediterranean sausages, similar to chorizo, called "fuets".
Three commercial strains were also trialled, but it was one from the baby excrement that was the best tasting.
In a paper published in Meat Science, the researchers reported the sausages to be "without any noticeable off-flavour", after six "trained assessors" taste-tested and judged them on colour, smell, taste, hardness, ease of peeling and crumbliness.
It was important to take the bacteria from infant poo rather than adult poo, Curtin University's science lecturer and Otago School of Pharmacy graduate Dr Hani Al-Salami said.
"Babies at that young age, the gut content is quite mild and nice compared with an older person," he said.
"The reason is, as we grow, we do eat a lot of things and not everything we eat is the best in terms of quality."
The creation of the low-fat and low-salt sausages was in response to the growing demand for safe, nutritious, health and natural foods.
Dr Al-Salami said probiotics were beneficial for a range of bodily functions.
"The bacteria used to be thought of only for digestion purposes," he said.
"Recent studies have clearly shown great involvement by bacteria in the immune system, production of vitamins, change of ph values of gut, processing of food.
"The main aim is to gain a full understanding of what healthy diet means and find out how much it takes of the baby sausage, to get the benefits."
The cultures were diluted to 10ml/kg and added to a meat batter of lean pork, stuffed into "natural pork casings", hung to ripen for two weeks and then stored for more than two months.
The sausages were similar in many ways, including appearance, to pepperoni and other sausage meats and Dr Al-Salami said he hoped they would be retailed.
"Down the track we hope [they'll be available for purchase]," he said.
"That's why all the work is being done."
But he admits that it may not sound appealing.
"The idea of us having faeces is not very desirable," he said.
- FFX Aus