chef tested hard to find and unusual products


Other than a fish smoking technology owned by the Anova Food Group

based out of Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands and having offices in

Atlanta, Georgia, Kenya, Indonesia, Vietnam and France.
Let's start out by telling you what it isn't.

Story by: Ellen Walsh

Advancements in Today's Seafood Industry

It isn't super-purified smoke, tasteless smoke, filtered wood smoke, industrial CO (Carbon Monoxide) or commercially mixed Carbon Monoxide gas.  CLEARSMOKE® starts out as one ingredient: hickory wood chips. These chips are processed through the CLEARSMOKE® smoke generation system removing all particulate components of the smoke (ash, tar flavor/odor and anything larger than 1 micron). No additives, preservatives or chemicals of any kind are used in this process. What's left are the naturally occurring preservation gases and standard phenolic compounds present in all natural woodsmoke.

For chefs and discriminating foodies” concerned with the best seafood that they can trust on a consistent basis, the CLEARSMOKE® technology opens a new door.

This process will make the seafood you serve retain the look, taste, texture and color of fresh even through freezing and defrosting. Shrinkage on tuna at retail is reduced from 35% to 3%. The process improves the texture of the product so it looks re-freshed after thawing. Histamine forming and spoilage bacteria that flourish in fresh seafood transportation are virtually eliminated by the process and completely static in frozen transit.

Profit. And last but certainly not least you are offering a product comparable to fresh but at a similar or lower price.

Anova Food Group, holder of the
CLEARSMOKE® Technology patent, imports 750 metric tons of fish a year from processing plants throughout the world utilizing the CLEARSMOKE® technology. While fish enters the retail market place clearly labeled with the CLEARSMOKE® brand, the fish reaches the consumer as an unbranded product. Although foodservice buyers and suppliers choose product produced this way because of its outstanding consistency and safety features, very little is known about this process by the professional chef as well as the consumer.

Discriminating seafood purveyors have always had to distinguish between the best of fresh fish, and a high quality frozen fish. As educated food professionals and consumers, we are looking for the best seafood that money can buy. We say we want fresh, however there is a global transportation issue. Under the best of circumstances, fresh seafood caught in foreign waters takes almost 14 days to reach your plate. Maybe less time if caught off American shores for the American market.

Anova Food Group, works with seafood processors globally through licensing agreements for their CLEARSMOKE® Technology. This insures speedy delivery from ocean to plant where the fish is “Clearsmoked”, quick frozen, and then transported to the United States, the EU and other international markets.

CLEARSMOKE® does not put the fish in a “processed”category as opposed to the fresh” category. CLEARSMOKE® is not an additive. While wholly understood by the EU market as a smoking process and subsequently approved for European distribution, buyers in the United States are still struggling to distinguish the differences of what the CLEARSMOKE® technology has to offer chefs and consumers from the unscrupulous activities of processors who are utilizing straight Carbon Monoxide.

Let's look at this Scientifically.

Hickory trees grown in the state of Tennessee are cut into chips. No additives, preservatives or chemicals are ever added. Smoke is generated by burning the chips. This smoke passes through a primary filter which removes all of the particulate; ash, tar and anything larger than one micron. This is a passive form of filtration that does not concentrate or chemically alter the natural composition of the smoke. A secondary filter reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the odor and color components of the smoke, leaving the all important preservation gasses” intact. The “smoke” is accumulated and then applied directly to the product. The product is removed from the smoke chamber, quickly bathed in ozonated water to remove any residual smoke odor and further eliminate bacteria, then frozen at zero degrees, leaving a pure unadulterated product.

When you barbecue with wood and throw a T-Bone Steak on the grill, the smoke contains, among many things, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. You may recall the earth shaking experiments of the 80s when this made big news. Scientists grilled steaks to prove the presence of Carbon Monoxide –and then, upon conclusion of the experiment, they ate the steaks, every one of them.

Carbon Monoxide, in the low concentrations found in the preservation gasses of CLEARSMOKE® locks in the color because it is a receptor, but only for a limited amount of time. The rest of the Carbon Monoxide dissipates, as the carbon molecule has done its job. Eventually, even that color will diminish as the fish ages, and the natural course of degradation continues.

Industrial Carbon Monoxide or highly concentrated Carbon Monoxide, is dangerous because the color never decreases even as the quality of the product does, thus raising serious food safety issues.

The use of industrial Carbon Monoxide, while banned in the EU has been able to happen as a result of a loophole in the law. Whereas Carbon Monoxide is legal since it is a component of a GRAS (generally regarded as safe) substance, wood smoke, and therefore has a place on the product's label, unscrupulous seafood suppliers who wish to take a cheaper and quicker route, are dousing seafood with high levels of carbon monoxide, thus hiding serious defects in the fish from unsuspecting consumers and inspectors as well!

In a world where news is reported in sound bites, this has caused a serious misunderstanding as to the role Carbon Monoxide plays in this whole process, resulting in out of hand rejection of smoked products in places where the product could be of great value.

Plans are currently in place by Anova Food Group to educate chefs as to the nature of the process, and how to incorporate its usage into their demanding agenda of providing the best quality seafood to a demanding and well educated foodservice professional and home entertainer.

Anova Food Group takes the preservation of seafood to still another step by importing the CLEARSMOKE® fish as frozen (unless requested as fresh). And the reason is that freezing tuna and other species for 30 days kills the parasites. There are more parasites in salmon and snapper, but the end result is the same –freezing fish for at least 30 days kills most of the bacteria and all of the parasites in the fish, plus substantially reduces the histamine growth environment, so dangerous to fish consumption.

Does this make it undesirable to demanding markets? Even in Tokyo's Tsukiji Central Fish Market, the biggest fish auction of its kind, the frozen fish section is five times the size of the fresh section. The rising popularity of sushi bars requires a consistent product. It is an accepted fact in the seafood industry that consistency and safety of sushi requires the use of frozen product. The state of South Carolina has required that in order to serve raw fish, it has to have been frozen for thirty days. It remains to be seen if other states will require it, but it is definitely being utilized.

CLEARSMOKE® is the clear choice for keeping seafood fresh tasting, great looking, extending shelf life, eliminating bacteria and risk and increasing profit and your customer's dining pleasure.

Other Great Links:

Ahi Cones by Chef James Ormsby


Anova Food Group  Story PDF


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