Washington, July 6 : The next time American soldiers dig into the candy, cookies and cakes they get as rations, they will be taking a healthy bite, what with the treats containing probiotics, the beneficial bacteria already found in the human gut.
The move to add probiotics to their snacks comes as the incidences of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan coming down with diarrhea increases. Most of the products are still in development, but the U.S. military hopes to soon begin human trials. If they pass, they will be sent to soldiers in the field.
"My understanding is the incidence of intestinal illness is above average. We're trying to come up with nutritional strategies to help alleviate that," said Kenneth Racicot, food technologist for the U.S. Army Research Development Engineering Command (REDCOM) a military research and development center in Natick, Massachusetts.
Another thing that the military is experimenting is with chocolate banana bars that contain Quercetin, an antioxidant.
Also in line to keep the soldiers healthy is cinnamon gum that contains caffeine, and a squeezable sweet gel containing a variety of nutritional supplements.