CORESTA Congress, Paris, 2006, APOST 24

Color and aroma of tobacco: a facilitated approach for their objective evaluation in Oriental tobaccos and for cultivar classification within Virginia and Oriental tobacco types

Tobacco and Tobacco Products Institutes, Plovdiv, Bulgaria; D. Kostov Inst. of Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.
In the routine practice the evaluation of colour and smoke aroma, major qualitative characteristics of tobacco, is mainly based on organoleptic estimates by expert panels, with this suffering from subjectivity, high costs and health hazards. We propose a new facilitated low-cost and safe approach for objective evaluation of colour and smoke aroma in Oriental tobaccos using the chromatographic profiles of polyphenols and neutral volatiles of essential oils/valeric acids, respectively, in tobacco leaves. To this purpose the methods of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and capillary gas chromatography (CGC) were applied, and formulae for a reliable numerical expression of both characteristics were developed. Moreover, chromatographic data were employed in pattern recognition method (PRM) allowing the objective classification and differentiation of cultivars within Virginia or Oriental tobacco types. The proposed approach can be beneficial for tobacco breeding and market purposes, with being a tool to aid the release of high quality tobaccos.