Thursday, January 4, 2007

Turning down the volume on the musical fruit

I happened to stumble across a study done in spring 2006 in which a group of scientists in Venezuela were looking to find the secret to gas-free beans. The problem with beans in the human digestive system is that bacteria in the large intestine actually ferment the beans in order to make them more digestible down the line (so to speak). As anyone who has ever made bread or beer knows, one of the by-products of fermentation is gas (C02). So the scientists were looking to find the specific bacteria that could be used to pre-ferment beans as they cook, thus reducing the gas problem.

Now what interested me about this story was not the actual findings (the research was geared to the food industry) but a remark made in passing--no pun intended--by the Reuters reporter, to wit: "Smart cooks know they can ferment beans, and make them less gas-inducing, by cooking them in the liquor from a previous batch."

So, OK, I guess I'm not a smart cook. I've never heard this theory. Has anyone out there ever done this? And did it work?

No comments:

Post a Comment