09-04-2007, 05:31 PM
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I'm no biologist, but apparantly there is some treatment you can do to bacteria that causes them to become spores which basically means they seal themselves in a capsule which can survive extremes of temperature, anerobic conditions and even drying out or concentrated salts etc.
This is why you must always be very careful with cooked rice, as it often contains bacterial spores that are not killed by boiling water (i believe that these rice bacteria can survive in spore form up to about 175 deg. C, though it's been a very long time since GCSE biology, so don't quote me on the figure) So if you leave cooked rice out for too long the spores de-spore themselves and find a nice damp food source and multiply away, giving you the backdoor trots should you eat them.
I'm pretty certain that's how the bacterial suppliments work, the bacteria is in spore form, and when it finds itself in a nice cozy tank with a nice meal of ammonia to eat they get de-spored and breed away.
As i say, it's been a long time since i studied this, but i think that's the gist of it. If i am well off the mark i''m sure that someone will tell me, that's the beauty of forums!