in Extra Matter

Safer smoke through chemistry

I’m tickled by the news that big industrial food-smoking concerns are worried enough about the carcinogens in smoke to do something about it. That something is a filter based on zeolites, present in car exhaust systems to reduce harmful pollutants. It’s early days yet, but preliminary results are in:

“To the tasters, the chicken made with filtered smoke had a bit of a ‘Christmas ham’ aroma and a more rounded balanced flavor,” Parker says. Foods made with the unfiltered smoke, by contrast, tended to score higher in the categories of “ash tray” and “acrid smoke.”

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