Phenolic antioxidants in alder smoke during industrial meat curing
Journal article, 2001
Alder wood smoke in a large sausage-curing chamber was analysed with regard to its content of methoxyphenol antioxidants. The use of Tenax adsorbent cartridges permitted simultaneous quantitative sampling of phenols condensed on smoke particles as well as gaseous compounds. The analytical determinations were performed by thermal desorption combined with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. In addition to methoxyphenols, several other key components were assessed, including 1,6-anhydroglucose, 2-furaldehyde, furans and hydrocarbons. Benzene was the most prominent hydrocarbon. The concentrations of polycyclic aromatic compounds were low, due to a low smoke generation temperature. Predominant smoke components were the 2,6-dimethoxyphenols, which are characteristic thermal degradation products from hardwood. The 2,6-dimethoxyphenols are stronger antioxidants than the 2-methoxyphenols present in lower amounts. The particularly active antioxidants with a 4-alkenyl side-chain constituted 20-30% of total methoxyphenols, which is much more than normally reported for liquid smoke. The phenolic antioxidants may be important not only for the preservation of foods, but also for health as dietary components.