Probiotic Bulgarian yogurt โ€˜feasibleโ€™ to achieve good health and well-being on Mars missions

Testing performed at the Mars Societyโ€™s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the Utah desert revealed that Bulgarian yogurt could be easily prepared by analog astronauts participating in a two-week โ€œmissionโ€ in a closed, Mars-like environment.

The yogurt, which is prepared using Lactobacillus delbrueckiiโ€‹ subsp bulgaricusโ€‹ and Streptococcus thermophilus, โ€‹was also shown to have a positive effect on the astronautsโ€™ overall well-being and gut health, according to the findings published in the Journal of Ethnic Foodsโ€‹.

โ€œHighlighting [Bulgarian yogurtโ€™s] ease of preparation in space conditions is a notable achievement, as providing varied and fresh food for astronauts has been a persistent challenge,โ€ wrote scientists from the MDRS, Curtin University (Australia), Ritsumeikan University (Japan) and the Bulgarian Academy of Science. โ€œIts adaptability as a space food option, coupled with its positive impact on astronautsโ€™ overall health and well-being, emphasizes the need for further exploration and integration of this ancient dietary practice into modern space nutrition strategies.

โ€œBased on these findings, we strongly recommend that homemade yogurt be included as a standard menu item for space crews. The benefits of yogurt consumption during space missions go beyond nutrition; it also contributes to crew morale and well-being, making it a valuable addition to future interplanetary expeditions.โ€

The challenges of extended space travelโ€‹

Moving humanity beyond our terrestrial home has captured the imagination of scientists and science-fiction writers for decades. NASA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has stated that crewed missions to the Red Planet should be within reach by the 2030sโ€‹.

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