Smoking of Fish and Seafood: History, Methods and Effects on Physical, Nutritional and Microbiological Properties
Smoking technology is increasingly used nowadays to impart particular organoleptic characteristics to fishes and as a means of maintaining and extending the shelf-life of these perishable products. The antimicrobial and antioxidant effects of smoking have been recently studied in depth, and various methods of smoking are applied worldwide, focusing mainly on species groups such as salmon and other salted fish and seafood. Despite the obvious advantages of the process, there are also a number of hazards related to the consumption of smoked products. One of the most representative examples is the outbreak of various cancers common in countries such as Nigeria and Baltic countries due to the high content of foods in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced as a by-product of the process. Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated that smoking with pyrolytic flue gases causes environmental pollution. These facts can have a significant impact on the acceptance of these products by consumers. In this review article, the objective is to describe synoptically the general methods of fish smoking, to report both advantages and disadvantages resulting from these methods, to present safety aspects of smoking both with regard to microbiological and chemical issues and to provide some representative examples of smoked fish applications both in tabular and figural form.