Americans love the taste of smoked food, but it can be difficult to get that hickory smoked flavor without using a grill and wood chips.
Some companies have made life easier for people who crave the taste of smoked food by selling a product called liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is conveniently packaged into a bottle, and it’s a quick way to add a smoked, hickory flavor to food without making a mess or spending a lot of preparation time. Simply open the top, and pour on enough to add a pleasing smoky flavor to foods.
Sure, it tastes good, but is it good for you? Find out more about liquid smoke nutrition information before investing in this popular product.
Where Does Liquid Smoke Come From?
To make liquid smoke, manufacturers heat wood chips to high temperatures, while drawing the smoky vapors into a closed tube. Once the vapors from the wood are captured, they lower the temperature until the vapors are condensed into a liquid. Manufacturers then “age” the liquid in big barrels before placing it in bottles to be sold in supermarkets everywhere as liquid smoke. The liquid can be used to flavor not only meats but also meat substitutes, vegetables, soups, and any other gourmet creation that needs a smoky flavor.
Liquid Smoke Nutrition Information
Liquid smoke is one of the few truly calorie-free foods. This isn’t surprising since it’s really just water flavored with smoke that comes from burning wood chips. Not only is it calorie-free, it has no carbohydrates, fats or protein. That’s good news for people who are watching their calories, carbs or fat intake. Adding a little liquid smoke to food makes it flavorful without the need for higher calorie sauces. Liquid smoke really is a “free food” from a calorie standpoint.
More people are worried about their sodium intake these days, and liquid smoke is sodium-free and contains no MSG. It’s also gluten-free. The company also reports on their website that it contains no additives or preservatives.
But is Liquid Smoke Healthy?
Despite the fact that liquid smoke looks good on paper, there’s some concern that the products created by burning wood and captured in liquid smoke could cause cancer. The European Food Safety Authority, an agency similar to the FDA, found that compounds similar to those in liquid smoke damage DNA, the genetic material in animals. This raises concerns about its ability to cause cancer, although this is unproven. Fortunately, most people don’t use large amounts of liquid smoke on their food since you only need small quantities to add a hickory smoke flavor. Still, it’s probably best to use liquid smoke in moderation – to be safe.
Liquid Smoke Nutrition Information: The Bottom Line?
Liquid smoke is calorie –free and contains no additives or preservatives, gluten, MSG or salt. Still, there are questions about its safety, so use this flavoring product only in small amounts.
Colgin Companies website. “Home of Liquid Smoke” – https://www.colgin.com/public/
EFSA Journal. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1056