Smoking as a way of preparation of fish and meat has been known to the humankind since the Stone Age. Smoking represents set of the chemical, thermal, diffusive and biochemical processes proceeding in preliminary salted product. Smoked fish contains compounds that are favorable and also compounds that are hazardous for human health. The advantage of eating smoked fish is that it has a high protein content and at the same time is low in saturated fat. On the other hand, eating too much of smoked fish can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Traditional way of fish smoking is a preservation method giving a characteristic flavour and colour to the product. However during this process undesirable compounds can be formed, mainly the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These molecules are produced during pyrolysis of organic material that is used for generation of the smoke, mainly wood. It has been established that the content of carcinogenic PAHs in smoked fish most depends on smoking temperature and smoking time. The levels of PAHs in raw and cold-smoked fish are lower than the levels in hot-smoked fish samples. Of key importance to obtain such data is a reliable analysis method for determination of PAH concentrations. Such analytical method – based on the gas chromatography mass spectrometry – has been developed few years ago at the Tartu laboratory of the Estonian Health Board in collaboration with University of Tartu and published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.  It has been cited 17 times since its publication, indicating strong interest in the subject.

One Response

  1. Shaapera Joseph says:

    It is a wonderful research area. I wish to have access to it so that i can make my input. keep it up

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