In order to lend a smoky flavor to various foods, smoke ingredients are used. These ingredients are typically added to foods that cannot actually be roasted or grilled but still need to carry a smoky flavor. Liquid smoke, which is, obtained through the combustion of different types of hard woods, including beech, maple, hickory plants, or oak, is thus an ingredient that is finding newer applications.
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During the combustion process, the process condensate is separately collected. This ingredient thus obtained is known as liquid smoke. In the food industry, processes such as barbequing and grilling also put the food at risk of burning. However, this issue can be allayed with the use of standard smoke ingredients. They thus help food manufacturers to lend different flavors to their products while optimizing production.
Moreover, the use of smoke ingredients also ensures that taste remains consistent from batch to batch. These ingredients help expedite the maillard reaction, add roasted aromas, and help develop the right color.
Smoke ingredients can include smoke, grill, natural hardwood sources, and hickory. These ingredients are widely employed in drenching or showering flavors, atomization, dry forms, and direct addition. Their use is seen at different processing stages. Some of the common products where smoke ingredients are used include: poultry, meat, sauces, seafood, seasonings, snacks, bread, dressings, and crackers.
The market for smoke ingredients can be classified based on the criteria of form (liquid, powder, oil and others such as concentrates and emulsions). Of the various forms of smoke ingredients, the use of liquid smoke ingredients is the widest. This can be ascribed to its easy handling and its high solubility in water. It thus generates the highest revenue share in the market.
The use of smoke ingredients in the form of powders is made by combining them with spice mixes, salts, and colorants. Kosher salts are widely used in the form of powders. The use of concentrate smoke ingredients is typically made in extremely small quantities; when they need to be applied to meat products, they are usually sprayed on.
The most commonly used medium for applying smoke ingredients is oil. The use of smoking oil is made for capturing fumes so as to trap the flavor in it. Moreover, the F&B industry also uses smoked oils in numerous barbeque flavored products, which are becoming popular worldwide. Products such as bacon, marinades, cheeses, and sausages are available in such flavors.
The top players with an international presence in the global smoke ingredients for food market are: Associated British Foods plc., Azelis, Dempsey Corporation, Besmoke, Kerry Ingredients , FRUTAROM Savory Solutions GmbH, Redbrook Ingredient Services, Red Arrow, and WIBERG GmbH.