Wood Smoke Chips - Fruit Stone Granules as Alternatives

Kathrin Schilling

Published: 21 April 2021

A New Approach to Food Flavoring

For quite a while, wood chips have been viewed with a somewhat critical eye for several reasons: first and foremost, they are often not residues from woodworking activities but chopped trees. While still a natural material, this involves resource-intensive forestry, which is not necessarily ecological.

Besides, and similar to barbecue charcoal, smoking chips are often made from tropical woods. In this case, compliance with sustainability standards and product traceability are particularly challenging. Imports from the global South are not in line with the principles of local sourcing and reduced transportation, and the wood industry is likely to undermine conservation of ecosystems.

Long-standing market experience and extensive testing have led the BioPowder.com team to create new solutions for food flavoring. Fully natural chunks of aromatic apricot stones, almond shells or pistachio shells or crushed olive stones are very effective smoke chips for diverse culinary uses.

The sustainable replacement for wood smoking chips: Moroccan argan shells and aromatic olive stones

Argan shells are a precious and sustainable, yet relatively unknown raw material. They are a by-product of the argan oil production in the picturesque South Moroccan area around Agadir and Essaouira. Around 90% of the argan trees are located in nature reserves, and argan fruit harvest and processing is reserved to certified cooperatives, mostly run by local women. The hard core of the argan fruit is split to obtain the oily kernel, whereby an intensely colorful, red shell is obtained. This material is not only extremely hard but its calorific value exceeds the energy content of most woods by 30%.

Also, its smoking behaviour is remarkable. When put to glow, it releases flavory smoke in a consistent and lasting manner. Contrary to most wood types that burn down relatively fast, argan shells can be used in multiple smoking cycles and are therefore highly efficient. Their nutty taste makes them equally suitable for meat, fish and vegetable products.

Argan shell barbecue

Argan shell barbecue

Green argan nuts on the tree

Green argan nuts on the tree

Argan shell smoke chips

 Olive stone barbecue smoke crunches

Besides argan chips, the Mediterranean region has more treasures to offer: refined crushed olive stones also create a tasty smoke experience for fine barbecuing or flavoring of delicacies. Interestingly, the crushed olive stones are by-products of the olive oil extraction and obtained in a waste-reducing, purely mechanical process.

Granular fruit stone smoking chips: a new trend in barbecuing

Olive pits for smoking are a sustainable alternative to the well-known olive wood chips. Famous for releasing a mild but intense flavor, the wood of the olive tree becomes mostly available when the trees are trimmed or pruned. The stone is harder than the wood, burns more slowly and can be used in different smoking methods. In recent years, smoking has also become a trendy part of barbecuing. When crunches made from compact olive stones are used, chefs recommend to dampen them in water before putting them on the hot charcoal. This way, the smoke releases a rich and lasting aroma.

New and unique taste experiences can easily be created when adding other crunches to the smoke chip mix. Either together with olive stones or alone, crushed almond shells, peach stones or apricot stones can unfold a fantastic fruity aroma. They come in various particle diameters to be suitable for both industrial and recreational barbecue smoking.

 Olive stone barbecue smoke chips

Argan shell smoke chips

At BioPowder.com, we supply top-grade smoke chips to commercial users, wholesalers and brand owners. Thanks to our expertise in the field, we provide guidance on brand development and positioning of new smoke chip solutions. Our focus is on creating the right ingredient mix to achieve the desired aroma for meat, fish, vegetable, cheese and other foodstuffs. Moreover, we assist our clients with the right (recyclable) packaging solution to make them stand out with their vision and marketing concept.

We would love to hear from you and to be part of your smoke chips project. Please do not hesitate to send us your inquiry.

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