"Aqueous Natural Smoke"


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Hubby had bought a box of Wild Planet's wild caught sardines from Costco a few weeks ago instead of his normal anchovies (no question on compliance with those: anchovies, olive oil, salt). The final ingredient in the sardines is "aqueous natural smoke." Searched the forums and couldn't find anything on this ingredient being compliant or not. Thoughts? 


He hasn't started his Whole30 yet and I won't eat these anyway (tiny whole fishies are not my thing), but he's wondering if he should eat them before he starts his month. 



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Liquid smoke can be produced two ways, chemically and distilled.  Distilled smoke is made like like perfume essence, hot evaporation chamber, arched chimney, cooled condensation chamber.  Natural is an abused food label, so we can't conclude that natural means no chemical processes are used.  Wild Planet has also had some transparency gripes about using Vietnamese farmed sardines but labeling them Pacific.  FDA requires them to put aqueous natural smoke on the ingredient list to call them smoked sardines without actually smoking them.


So you can presume ethics even though they falsely represent Vietnamese fish, or call them and ask how the smoke is made.  My instinct tells me it is just as likely to be compliant as it is to contain nitrates.

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  • 3 years later...


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