Smoking is an art, oops, art is something else, its technique. The idea of smoking for some is a slow suicide but that all depends. Smoking has been transformed from a technique for preserving food into a technique for flavoring food. Lignins are particularly important in the formation of cell walls, especially in wood and bark and what makes smoked food aromatic and characteristic of the smokey flavors.
At +300°C temperatures Lignin molecules break down into a wide range of volatile chemicals called phenols. Imparting flavor many phenols are potent antioxidants that prevent rancidity helping preserve food.
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