Fish smoking with local wood species is a traditional practice in French Guiana. We evaluated the carcinogenic risk and the smoky taste in acoupa weakfish (Cynoscion acoupa) smoked by a small Guianese company specializing in fish smoking using local wood species. The goal of this study is to promote regional economic development by encouraging the establishment of small companies offering fish smoked with local wood species in agreement with the European health norms in terms of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) content in smoked fish. The fish smoked with three species of wood traditionally used in French Guiana, Parinari campestris, Caesaria grandiflora, and Laetia procera, conformed to European standards for PAH content. Their phenol contents (correlated with the smoky taste) were close to smoked salmon, the reference in Europe. Given the low rate of extractable compounds in these woods, other flavors had little chance of predominating on the smoky taste. These three tropical wood species might be used for the production of cold smoked fish in compliance with European standards for PAH residues. The flavor and consumer’s acceptance of the smoked fish should now be investigated to characterize the added typicity of local woods in comparison to the commonly used European woods.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2