(5) Causes a tenderizing action which results from increased activity of
autolytic enzymes if the meat temperature is elevated above 60F (16C).
(6) Causes a tenderizing action that results from the meat being exposed to
high temperatures and high humidities in the smokehouse.
Imparts antioxidants to the fats.
(8) Has a destructive action on microorganisms when the smokehouse
temperature is above 120F (49C).
Imparts a desirable finish or gloss.
(10) Reduces the nitrite content.
b. Contents of Smoke. Hardwood smoke will yield the following range of
concentration in the smokehouse:
Formaldehyde, 25 to 40 ppm.
Phenols, 20 to 30 ppm.
Formic acid, 90 to 125.
Higher aldehydes, 140 to 180 ppm.
Ketones, 190 to 200 ppm.
Acetic and higher acids, 460 to 500 ppm.
Resins, over 1,000 ppm.
Of the above constituents, formaldehyde is considered to be one of the chief
bactericidal constituents of smoke.
c. The Incubation Zone. Mesophilic bacteria will grow during the incubation
period or zone, which is 65 to 105F (18 to 41C). The tendency is for the bacteria
count to increase during this period; however, the total count will be considerably
reduced at the end of the smoking period. A good smoking practice is not to hold the
product in this zone for more than 6 to 8 hours.
d. The Residual Effect. The residual effect of the smoke on bacteria is very
pronounced. Most smoked cured products will keep considerably longer than
unsmoked cured products. The residual effect of smoke against molds is much less
than the effect against bacteria.