Smoked products are smoked 80 percent environmentally friendly with CleanSmoke
Sweden has been known for many years for its ambitious environmental awareness. The Scandinavians are regarded as pioneers in terms of sustainability; CO2 emissions are well below the European average. Time and again, the Swedes succeed in putting ideas or appeals for more environmental protection into practice without any legal pressure. Today, for example, around 80 percent of smoked goods are smoked using the environmentally friendly CleanSmoke smoking process. Peder Fischer, area manager for Sweden and Denmark for the smoke generator manufacturer Tarber, is considered a pioneer of smoking with CleanSmoke. With the consequent further development of smoke condensates and the technology of modern smokers, he has paved the way for many other European and non-European markets. Based on the development in Sweden, the signs are pointing to a breakthrough of sustainable smoking in other important European markets. Sweden wanted to consistently improve the environmental conditions and therefore gave new technologies, e.g. for smoking, a chance.
Sensitivity to environmental protection is perhaps even greater in many countries today under the impact of climate change. Smoking expert Fischer is firmly convinced that both meat producers and the trade would send the right signal by supporting sustainable smoking processes. In any case, the Swedes’ intentions were clear: in line with the European Union’s objectives, the environment must be protected.
CleanSmoke, which has now been awarded the title of “Best Available Technology” for smoking by the EU, was the first choice. And there seemed to be no compromise in the competition with conventional smoking – although according to Fischer, the quality of smoking with purified smoke was initially far from today’s possibilities. Back then, smoking was done with the Penova Smoke Generator from Iwema, the pioneer of smoking with primary smoke products in Sweden. “The characteristic taste was thinner and the color was not as intense at that time,” Fischer says.
Better than conventional smoking
Peder Fischer comes from a Danish butcher’s family and knew what quality is needed for good smoked products. Together with Uwe Vogel from the Primary Smoke Product Manufacturer Red Arrow, as smoking experts and food technologists, they optimized the process. They needed more control over the smoke, temperature and air movement in the smoking chambers. And they got it. Today, there is no difference to conventional smoking. On the contrary: CleanSmoke is considerably more reliable, safer and above all more environmentally friendly.
There were also reservations about the CleanSmoke smoking process in Sweden. But the will of the manufacturers to protect the environment was stronger. The breakthrough came with the two largest Swedish meat producers, who decided in favor of the innovative process. Retailers and consumers were informed of the change with a magazine and transparent communication. This was the way they convinced consumers, retailers and politicians. In addition to protecting the air, CleanSmoke also scores points with less pollution of the water with cleaning agents and the protection of employees from smoke.
Ready for all of Europe
Smoking expert Fischer hopes that the next step will be the organic certification of the CleanSmoke smoking process: “It makes no sense to contaminate responsibly and healthily produced food with substances of concern such as ash, tar and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). That’s why he continues to insist on consistent education about the best of smoke. Uwe Vogel is also convinced that the CleanSmoke process will soon be successful in Europe. The Chairman of the CleanSmoke Coalition describes Sweden as a prime example. The most important requirements in the local food market before the introduction were more environmental protection through reduced emissions and higher product and processing quality. In order to establish CleanSmoke, research institutes were therefore involved in the communication at an early stage.