Saturday, October 10, 2020

Food Preservation: Hot Smoking

Smoking as a method of preserving food which is also known as smoke curing, produces products with very high salt and low water activity. Smoking is a process of treating fish by exposing it to smoke from smouldering wood or plant materials to introduce flavor, taste, and preservative ingredients into the fish. The composition and properties of smoke depend on the type of wood, its chemical composition, physical properties and burning conditions.

Hot smoking is typically not a single process. Several other steps such as brining, drying and smoking are also involved to produce a product of good quality. In hot smoking, the temperature ranges from 80ºC to 170ºC. The combination of temperature and time sufficient to cause the complete denaturation of the proteins in the fish flesh and enzymes are inactivated. The product has low salinity and high-water content, it is slightly smoked, soft, and juicy, the mild aroma of smoke is noticeable, and it cannot be stored for a long time.

Hot smoking is generally adequate to kill parasites, to eliminate non-sporulated bacterial pathogens and to injure spores of human health concern.

The preservative effect of smoking is due to the antioxidant actions of smoke components (phenols, polycarboxylic acids), bactericidal effects (the combined effect of antiseptic components of smoke, largely some phenols and acids, dehydration, salt, reducing the pH and high temperature during hot smoking) and antiproteolytic action (slowing down the autolytic processes, due to the effect of smoke on tissue enzymes).

It is important to note that the temperature in the smoking chamber be carefully coordinated to avoid product burning. In developing countries, it is the heat, rather than the smoke, that is mostly used as the curing factor.
Food Preservation: Hot Smoking

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