In order to get acquainted with the process of preparing smoked products, especially smoked rice, and the good and bad of its consumption, we sat down with Dr. Mohammad Hossein Azizi, a food industry expert and faculty member of the Nutrition Research Institute and Shahid Beheshti University.
Smoke is usually created in wood chambers with the help of wood chips, and this smoke is directed to the rice to taste smoky by hanging rice bags from somewhere and burning the wood chips so that it just smokes and does not catch fire.
Why is rice usually smoked?
Today, they do this only to change the taste and variety in the taste of rice. Even if you have seen in special ceremonies to make rice delicious, wood is used to burn and heat the rice and cook it. In fact, cooking food with wood causes some smoke to enter the food and give a special flavor to the food. Whereas in the past, smoking was one of the methods of preservation.
In fact, the smoke causes the microorganisms to enter the food later. In fact, the compounds in the smoke inhibit the growth of microbes and increase their shelf life. Smoking is often accompanied by drying, such as smoked fish, smoked meat and even apricot leaves and…
It is commonly said that smoking food is not the right thing to do and can cause carcinogenic compounds in food. So how did the ancients use it as a method of preservation?
If we use good fuels for smoking, the colored materials are not in the fuel or woods that have a lot of flavor and essential oils are not used, such as pine wood, smoking will not be harmful to the consumer, but the use of colored woods or essential oils and leachate wood or Wood impregnated with wood is harmful.
Unfortunately, because smoking at home or in workshops is done in the traditional way in our country and is not industrial, we can not be very sure what kind of fat is used in the smoking process. For this reason, high consumption of smoked products is not recommended. Improper wood burning causes the smoke that is produced to contain carcinogenic compounds that enter the food and can cause cancer in the long run.
How harmless do you think it is to consume rice or other smoked products?
Even if good wood is not used in the production process of the smoked product, the occasional consumption of smoked rice or fish is okay. Because it is continued consumption that can cause cancer. In our country, the consumption of smoked products is not very common and most people may not consume them even once a month, but in areas where the consumption of smoked products is common, I recommend that you do not eat these foods more than once a week.
Is it different to store and cook smoked rice or regular rice?
No. It makes no difference. Like regular rice, smoked rice should be dry and cool to increase its shelf life. In general, rice is a product that has low humidity and spoils slowly and stays well in a dry and cool environment for up to a year. Meanwhile, old rice is better in terms of cooking quality than new rice, so that new rice doubles twice as much. Old rice has 4 times the ability to ripen.
Of course, unlike ordinary rice, which is recommended to be consumed more in the form of kata, in relation to smoked rice, it is recommended to be cooked in the form of drainage to remove possible harmful compounds through water. Although in this case the taste of rice is slightly reduced, but not much and its drainage is better.
What foods should we eat with smoked rice to reduce its harms?
In general, we recommend eating lots of fruits and vegetables with food because these foods neutralize carcinogenic compounds. Do not forget that carcinogenic compounds are not only found in rice or smoked products. In today’s life, carcinogenic compounds are abundant in the climate in which we drink and breathe, in other foods we eat, and even in the dishes in which we cook. Therefore, high consumption of fruits and vegetables helps to neutralize these harmful compounds.
What foods with smoked rice are not recommended?
Fried foods and industrially processed meats. Fryers themselves contain carcinogenic compounds and can exacerbate the harms of smoked rice, especially if improper wood is used in the process.