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What does 'Naturally smoked' fish mean?

Hubby The Engineer and I were discussing what naturally smoked fish means. Forest fire? Anything else is not naturally supplied. Applied means added. Thoughts?

asked by BoulderGalinTokyo over 4 years ago
11 answers 4678 views
46d131cd f2c2 45e6 a471 166131eec02e  jess otoole
added over 4 years ago

I agree with jmburns- naturally smoked fish is actually smoked over wood chips or some other material (be it cold smoked or hot). Some smoked fish you will find at the store is injected with artificial smoke flavor- yuck.

9b94e94b 0205 4f2c bb79 1845dcd6f7d6  uruguay2010 61
added over 4 years ago

It means nothing . . . there is no regulated definition for the work natural in the food industry, so anyone can make up their definition. I would not trust the claim. Only Organic is regulated and defined.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 4 years ago

The line between natural and artificial is open to debate -- except not when it comes to food labeling requirements. The U.S. FDA very specifically regulates the terms (and other countries have similar requirements).

As for smoke flavorings, there are both natural (derived from real wood smoke) and artificial varieties.

The term "Naturally Smoked" indicates the product has been "exposed to smoke generated from burning hardwoods, hardwood sawdust, corn cobs, mesquite, etc.", i.e. the traditional smoking process as opposed to the use of liquid smoke (which can carry the term "Smoked").

However…

The argument could be made that foods smoked over wood are less healthful than foods flavored with liquid smoke products. Tars, ash and other undesirable byproducts are removed during production of liquid smoke but presumably remain when smoked over wood.

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added over 4 years ago

Now I'm really puzzled. I agree with la domestique that artificial smoke sounds yuck! But after reading ChefOno's answer, I don't know. And if liquid smoked product can carry the term 'Smoked' how do you tell the difference?

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 4 years ago

Many people see the term "liquid smoke" and assume it's artificial but it's simply natural wood smoke that has been processed for convenience, utility and economy. Used properly, you won't know the difference. And it's everywhere in the industry. You've probably been consuming it all your life without knowing it.

Artificial smoke is a different story. I'm not a food chemist and I don't know all of what's involved with the stuff but my opinion is it's best to stay away from it. Fortunately, at least in the U.S., it must be clearly labeled "artificial smoke flavor":

"No representation may be made, either directly or implied, that a food flavored with pyroligneous acid or other artificial smoke flavor has been smoked or has a true smoked flavor, or that a seasoning sauce or similar product containing pyroligneous acid or other artificial smoke flavor and used to season or flavor other foods will result in a smoked product or one having a true smoked flavor."

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added over 4 years ago

Thank you for explaining it in detail. So the one to avoid is the "artificial smoke flavor"?

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 4 years ago

In my opinion, yes.

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added over 4 years ago

Thanks to all who answered. More and more imported goods, so sometimes its hard to know distinctions.

8f7c3cf2 ee11 4057 a3da 035008936e64  rachel and martha
added over 4 years ago

I visited the 'Burren Smokehouse' in Co CLare, Ireland last year. I watched them 'naturally smoke' the salmon. Here is link to their process. Hope this helps.
http://www.burrensmokehouse...

596850dd 8a66 4d5f a993 c50f37d5fb73  img 2184