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 Smoke Flavor I. -The Flavor of Hardwood Smoke
Smoke flavor has been used for thousands of years to enhance and modify the flavor of foods as well as to preserve meats- This page presents some of the most important flavor constituents present in smoke flavoring.

Important Smoke Constituents - include many phenolic flavor chemicals derived from the pyrolisis of lignin in the wood, as well as items such as Maltol and various cyclopentenolones derived from cellulose pyrolysis. The lignin derived constituents such as Syringol are the heart of the smoke flavor while the cyclopentenolones provide a "burnt sugar" like note. In smoked meats, the phenolics act as preservatives which help to prevent spoilage.

Chromatogram of Liquid Smoke Flavor

From Cellulose Pyrolysis:

Acetic Acid
Formic acid
Maltol
Methyl cyclopenenolone
Ethylcyclpentenolone
Dimethylcyclopentenolones
Furfural
5-Hydroxymethylfurfural
From Lignin Pyrolysis:
Phenol
ortho, meta and para Cresols
Guaiacol
4-Methylguaiacol
4-Ethylguaiacol
4-Propylguaiacol
Pyrocatechol
Trimethylphenols
Vanillin
4-(2-Propio)-vanillone
4-(1-Propio)-vanillone
Acetovanillone
2,4,5-Trimethylbenzaldehyde
4-Hydroxyacetophenone
Eugenol
cis & trans-Isoeugenol
2,6-Dimethoxyphenol (Syringol)
4-Methylsyringol
4-Ethylsyringol
4-Propylsyringol
4-Acetosyringol
4-(2-Propio)-syringol
4-(1-Propio)-syringol
cis & trans-4-(1-Propenyl)-syringol
4-(2-Propenyl)-syringol
Syringaldehyde
               
For an extensive analysis of water based liquid smoke flavoring see the following 
references:
1. Guillen, Maria D. and Maria L. Ibargoitia, J. Agric. Food Chem., 1998, 46,
pp. 1276-1285.
2. Guillen, Maria D., Maria J. Manzanos and Lourdes Zabala, J. Agric.
Food Chem., 1995, 43, pp. 463-468.
               
               * Special thanks to E. D. Alford, Alford Consulting, Inc. for running the
GC/MS of a hardwood liquid smoke extract.  This chromatogram was run 
for Leffingwell & Associates in conjunction with a study on various 
"smoked" products.
               
Alford Consulting, Inc., 3524 Hughes Road, Louisville, KY 40207-4332
is a leading consultant on Gas Chromatography/Mass spectrometry for
the flavor & fragrance industry.
               
Smoke Flavor I. -The Flavor of Hardwood Smoke....First Posted on June 19, 1998
      
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Smoke Flavor I. -The Flavor of Hardwood Smoke
Smoke Flavor II. - Dark Fire-Cured Tobacco

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