Farts can be decidedly embarrassing, and many dream of systems that effectively neutralise them. But in order to be able to design such products, it is first necessary to develop realistic artificial farts with which to test them. Fortunately, a group of Danish scientists seems to have found the solution. They have put together common strains of different species of bacteria in the laboratory to develop a “recipe” that produces a realistic smell of farts.
We must congratulate these researchers because the study must not have been pleasant. At first, anaerobic bacteria, which represent a broad spectrum, were chosen from an international collection of recognised crops, and were then incubated in an anaerobic vessel. After 24 hours the lid was removed and the odor was evaluated by a specialist in clinical microbiology.
In total, seven different combinations of two or three strains were tested. In the end the combination of Bacteroides fragilis ATCC 25285, Clostridium difficile ATCC 700057 and Fusobacterium necrophorum ATCC 25286 was chosen because it had an appropriate odor, thus allowing to finally produce artificial “flatus” from volatile bacterial compounds. The method is easy and inexpensive and can thus help further research on measures to neutralise intestinal gas emissions.