Is smoked food bad for you

Lifestyle - How healthy is smoked food?

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Smoking is trendy in the catering industry. The guests are pampered anew with whole smoked dinners. But smoked food is also eaten cheerfully at Christmas time: ham, smoked salmon and sausages are on the table. The smoked foods are harmless to health.

Smoking is a processing step that is often good for the taste, but not for the health value of the food. Because when smoking, so-called policyclic aromatics are created, which are carcinogenic. “But, as is so often the case, it makes a lot of difference,” says food chemist Urs Klemm.

Smoked food does not pose a health risk when consumed in normal quantities. "There are legal regulations for this and they are observed," says the expert. It is much more important for him that only flawless food comes into the smoke.

Smoking removes water from the food and makes it last longer. In the time long before the refrigerator, smoking was therefore a method of preservation - and back then it was not the healthiest without legal regulations. The decline in gastric cancer since the refrigerator became widespread is attributed not least to the fact that much less smoked and cured food has been on the table since then.

If foods are only fortified with a smoky flavor, the process of "liquid smoking" is used. The added smoke flavorings are either chemically produced or obtained from real smoke. These do not pose any health risks either, says Urs Klemm, "they are strictly chemically controlled and the amount is precisely dosed."

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  • Commentary by Markus Bach, Basel
    Liquid smoking has nothing to do with smoking! The edibles are dipped in a liquid chemical broth that tastes like smoke. There is no real smoke there! And that these chemical cocktails are harmless to health ... says the food chemist :) Please SRF for a second opinion on consumer protection!
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
    1. answer from Poldi, world
      It's not about "food" for a long time anyway, but about the "food industry". Obviously, with a bunch of chemicals, all products must be cheaper and more efficient to manufacture. Maximum profit at the expense of our health! If you look at the table of contents on almost all foods, your hair stands on end - a single chemistry laboratory! But of course absolutely harmless ;-) - yes of course!
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from Heidy Rüegg, Malleray
      With us you will not see any finished products on the table. We can eat and drink everything, because only too much is harmful, including smoking or alcohol etc.
      Agree agree to the comment
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