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Liquid Smoke

Liquid smoke is a substance produced from smoke passed through water. Liquid smoke is used for both food preservation and flavoring. During production carcinogens can be removed from the smoke, which can make "smoking" with smoke condensates significantly safer than traditional smoking.

Liquid smoke consists of smoke produced through the controlled burning of wood chips or sawdust, condensed and then passed through water, which captures and dissolves the smoke-flavored components in solution. The liquid base can be condensed and modified through many methods to develop a wide range of smoke flavors.

Liquid Smoke can be used as a seasoning to add a smokey char-grilled flavor to foods. Liquid smoke is often used in the processing of bacon and hot dogs, and is one of the main flavors in the curing solution used for bacon. It is also used to flavor jerky and tofu. Liquid smoke is also used in some soft cheeses and tempeh.  Liquid smoke can be used on steaks, sausages and chops, to marinade a roast, ribs, soups, vegetables and gravies as a replacement for bacon flavour.
Aqueous, as well as gaseous smoke can also enhance seedling germination and emergence. Greenhouse tests on seeds and on wild seedbanks support this trend, but field trials of aqueous smoke remain inconclusive.

During the manufacturing process, smoke condensates such as tar and ash are removed from the solution. By removing the tar from solution, the carcinogen level can be reduced considerably. This process can theoretically make "smoking" with smoke condensates significantly safer for consumers than traditional smoking.

However, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is investigating the safety of liquid smoke as a food flavoring. One of the smoke flavorings being assessed, named Primary Product FF-B, raised concern. The EFSA Panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids, and materials in contact with food (AFC) concluded that Primary Product FF-B can be regarded as weakly genotoxic in vivo (i.e. animal testing has shown that it can damage DNA, the genetic material in cells). The Panel therefore could not establish its safety in use when added to food. However, no comparison was made against traditional smoked goods on the market. Primary Product AM 1 was described as potentially toxic to humans by the EFSA on 8 January 2010.

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