Contents Index

Hot Smoking of Fish

Accompanying Notes
Table of Contents

By A. McK. Bannerman


TORRY ADVISORY NOTE No. 82 (revised)

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software and careful manual recorrection. Even if the quality of digitalisation is high, the FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.

Accompanying Notes

Defines hot smoking in contrast to cold smoking. Notes that hot smoked fish and shellfish products do not require further cooking before they are eaten, and draws attention to the potential hazard to human health. Gives a general description of the process set in the context of the Torry mechanical kiln, including advice about the raw material, brining, smoking and drying, cooling and packing including vacuum packaging, storage and shelf life of specific products. Specific recipes and process details are given for most of the hot smoked products found in the UK, and produced from dogfish, eels, herring, mackerel, mussels, oysters, plaice, redfish, haddock, sprat and trout. Some differ slightly from those given in earlier Notes in this series since they incorporate more recent knowledge and experience. Consequently this Note should be read in conjunction with Notes 37, 57, 66, 67, and 74, and the safety information is also relevant to TAN 13.

The Note provides a table of brine strength concentrations (g/litre) related to brineometer degrees. It is important to note that in other Notes in the series, brine strength is sometimes given as the weight of salt to be added to one litre of water. The important distinction is drawn between salt content and salt concentration in the water phase of the product, which is the important measure for food safety in terms of the risk of food poisoning particularly from Clostridium botulinum. More recent advice about the safety of smoked products that can be eaten without further cooking recommends a minimum salt concentration of 3.5% (weight by weight) in the water phase and keeping the product chilled below 5C throughout the distribution chain. Particular attention should be given to the control of the botulinum risk if the product is to be vacuum packed because C. botulinum can grow in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic conditions) and because of the inhibition of competing spoilage organisms.

The following practices should always be part of process control:

The current food legislation should be consulted with respect to the use of colours or dyes and the labelling of products.

(FAO in partnership with Support unit for International Fisheries and Aquatic Research, SIFAR, 2001).

Table of Contents

Definition of hot smoking
The hot smoking process
Recipes for hot smoked products

Contents Index