Smoking of foods: Methods, regulation and legal compliance considerations
Traditional smoked foods were originally developed from the smoke of an open fire. Smoked foods included fish, meat (both whole muscle and comminuted meat such as sausages), a few vegetables, cheeses and whisky, and smoking was a means of preservation with the side benefit of a change in flavour or more simply to add flavour. Today, food smoking is more regulated and processors cannot just use any fuel source for the fire. This article explains the three methods of smoking food: hot wood smoking, cold wood smoking, and the use of smoke flavours, and outlines the practical and legal considerations food companies should have in mind when using each method, including the control of by-products, labelling requirements, and the regulation of smoking processes under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.