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Natto, good for more than just eating

By: Floro Mercene

Microorganisms have been used in the preparation of not only medicine, but have also been used in producing basic food such as cheese and yoghurt as well as delicacies like wine and beer.

Bacillius natto is a well-known and safe microorganism. Nattō is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis var. natto. It is a fermented food as typically Japanese as soy sauce or miso. Natto may look strange and have a peculiar and powerful smell, strong flavor and slimy texture, but it is widely known as a health food, rich in protein, vitamin B and E along with fiber and iron.

Natto is known for its stickiness. It is the polyglutamic acid produced when the soybeans ferment that makes natto so sticky. Completely unrelated to food, this polyglutamic acid is used to precipitate pollutants in water. Clarifying agents made from polyglutamic acid are capable of cleaning dirty water faster than agents made from chemicals. These clarifying agents are made from purely natural substances, and are eco-friendly and affordable. Simply apply small amount into dirty water from ponds, rivers, stored rainwater or pools, and then proceed to coagulate the sediment and dirt, allowing it all to settle at the bottom.

They are also used in overseas initiatives realized with the assistance of the Japanese government, such as a project to clean drinking water in Bangladesh.

These clarifying agents are exported to more than 30 countries around the world. They have also been used to clean water for people living in disaster-stricken areas, such as after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Another recent discovery related to polyglutamic acid is its incredible capacity for absorption.

(To be continued)