Cool beans? You’re damn (not) tootin’!

And look where they were developed!

A Venezuelan team says fermenting beans with certain friendly bacteria can cut the amount of wind-causing compounds, and boost beans’ nutritional value.

The research appears in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.


Flatulence is caused by bacteria that live in the large intestine breaking down parts of food – such as soluble fibre – that have not been digested higher in the gut.

Beans, such as the black bean commonly eaten across Central and Southern America and tested by the team, contain many of these compounds.

Researchers from the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas found that by boosting the natural fermentation process by adding a particular type of bacteria , called Lactobacillus casei (L casei), the amount of these indigestible wind-causing compounds were reduced.

Soluble fibre was reduced by two thirds and the amount of raffinose, another flatulence-causing substance, by 88.6%.

But the amount of insoluble fibre, which is thought to have a beneficial effect on the gut and help the digestive system get rid of toxins, increased by 97.5%.

The team concludes that fermentation involving L casei could decrease flatulence compounds and increase nutritional quality.

They suggest the bacteria be used by the food industry to create better bean products.

That sounds like a plan.

Failing that, you can buy L. casei at your local health-food store; look in the probiotics section. You’ll probably find it packaged with L. acidophilus, its close cousin (and a common “live culture” found in natural yogurt).

One Chavecito Burrito, por favor.

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