Use of liquid smoke in conjunction with food grade coatings to control pest infestations

Use of liquid smoke in conjunction with food grade coatings to control pest infestations
Overview of Technology

Food grade coatings in conjunction with liquid smoke was used to control pests on aged food products

Dry-cured ham production is concentrated in the Southern U.S region. The traditional processing stages of country-style dry-cured ham includes raw material selection, curing, equalization (drying), smoking (optional) and aging.

The ham mite (Tyrophagus Putrescentiae), is a pest that infests stored food products with high protein and fat content, including dry-cured hams. Mold mites develop from egg to adult under specific environmental conditions that are optimal between 30-36 degrees celsius. The condition in a dry-cured ham aging room is normally between 21-30 degrees celsius, with relative humidity (RH) reaching up to 80% in some facilities. The combination of these temperature and RH measurements make it a viable environment for mites to grow and reproduce.

Methyl Bromide was once a worldwide-used pest management solution due to its effectiveness against a large range of insect species. However the use of this product has been banned since 1992 from its ozone depleting properties. It is important for the Dry-cured ham industry to find a replacement solution that is more environmentally friendly and affordable to control mite growth and infestations.

Technology Description
To remove/mitigate the ham mite pest from infesting product, a specific measurement of liquid smoke and food grade coating treatment is placed on the ham cubes. Results from testing experiments indicate that liquid smoke can be added to coatings or ham nets to control mites as part of an integrated pest management program for dry-cured hams without changing any sensory attributes.


  • Mitigates mites from dry-cured hams
  • Cost-effective
  • Environmentally friendly, does not emit any greenhouse gasses
  • Does not change sensory attributes


  • Revolutionize dry-cured ham packaging with a new solution that is far more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and maintains sensory quality of product.

Looking to commercialize this invention

Contact Information

TTO Home Page:

Name: Jim Mitchell

Title: Licensing Associate