Food Smoking - the Science behind the Art
Jim Jones*, Qun Chen, Graham Eyres, Pat Silcock, Yuanyang Zhang, Nadeem Caco, Rhiannon Wright
Smoking food is an ancient preservation technique for food, but today is more a way of adding value and offering a different sensory experience for the consumer. Because of its long history, food smoking is often regarded as an artisanal skill rather than a practice steeped in science. There are no universal best practices when it comes to the smoking process. A project within the FIET Research Programme (funded by MBIE) has examined the generation of smoke for food smoking, aiming to understand the conditions that produce ‘good’ smoke, that is, smoke with the ‘smoky’ compounds important for flavour but without undesirable compounds. The latter is driven by European regulations which limit polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations in seafood products. The principal smoking wood in New Zealand is kānuka, which is still sold as mānuka at retail outlets, despite the fact that these are recognised as different species. Other New Zealand woods are also used for food smoking, including pōhutukawa, rewarewa, tawa, and tawhai. This presentation spans the historic to the modern with respect to food smoking, and provides the science behind good smoke generation.
PO Box 44322Pt ChevalierAuckland 1022NEW ZEALAND