Smoke flavor in food

The process of curing and smoking food has been employed to aid meat, fish, and poultry in conjunction with salting and drying and to develop flavor.

Preservation techniques have advanced significantly, but smoking is used to preserve, impart flavor and add texture to different foods. Wood smoke helps dehydrate and sterilized foods.

Initially, the smoking process was carried out in a kiln with little or no control over the smoking process.

The main components responsible for the smoke flavor are phenol derivatives. In additions to the flavoring compounds arising from wood pyrolysis, flavoring compounds derived from plants are also present.

Foods absorb the compounds, lose moisture, and develop characteristics ‘smoke’ flavors.

The soluble fraction mostly contains fatty acids and fatty esters, in addition to acids, alcohols, carbonyls, esters, furans, lactones, and many miscellaneous compounds.

An important step in the smoking process involves brine – mixture of sugar, salt and spices – to cure meats, poultry and seafood before they are smoked.

The flavor and color of the smoked product depend considerably on whether the wood used is hard or soft, wet or dried. Hardwoods are used predominantly; softwoods are added to enhance color.
Smoke flavor in food

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