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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 December 2006, 16:08 GMT
The key to flatulent-free sprouts
The secret lies in not cooking them for too long
A farmer is hoping to spread festive cheer around the dinner table - by revealing the secret of producing flatulent-free sprouts.

Freda Neale, who grows five tonnes of the vegetables each year at her farm in Burscough, near Ormskirk, Lancs, claims the secret lies in the cooking.

She says sprouts should only be cooked for six to eight minutes.

"Overcooking causes chemicals in the sprouts to react and emit sulphur," said the sprout expert.

"This also gives them their bitter taste and makes them - and those who eat them - smell."

Mrs Neale claims the best way to ensure tasty and 'fragrance-free' sprouts is buy fresh, young, bright green sprouts, preferably with the stalks still attached.

She also advises chewing each mouthful at least 10 times to ensure it is quickly broken down by the time it reaches the gut.

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