The project I work with produces and sells bacon and ham, for which we have used liquid smoke as a flavor additive (cold smoking being near impossible in the tropics). We currently import this product from the U.S. as it is unavailable domestically.
From what I understand, liquid smoke is a processed derivative of wood vinegar, which we also happen to produce. From what I can tell, early liquid smokes were, in fact, just wood vinegar. More recent patents indicate that modern wood vinegar is more highly processed, seeminly mainly to remove tars and create a uniform product. Obviously, we would love to be able to produce and use our own liquid smoke. Is anyone aware of
- Any modern users of wood vinegar as a food additive in other parts of the world
- Any health/safety related reasons that would preclude using wood vinegar as a food additive
- Any processing (such as filtration, settling, etc.) that doesn’t require a lab but would improve our product
Casual observation has shown that there is a non-water-soluble tar-like portion that settles out of wood vinegar. Additionally, there are sometimes small amounts of oils that float. I would presume that collecting the liquid from between these two layers and filtering it would be a bare minimum.