CORESTA Congress, Paris, 2006, SSPOST 07

HCN and tobacco precursors

Altadis Research Centre, Fleury-les-Aubrais, France
As Hoffmann list component, hydrogen cyanide is currently analyzed. Design and filter parameters are involved on HCN amount in smoke, however tobacco composition explains strongly the quantitative results. The known relations between HCN and nitrogen compounds on tobacco blends justify systematic studies to evaluate the effective contribution of potential precursors. To avoid non-representative thermal reactions, e.g. by pyrolysis approach, the precursors studied are added on a US type blend prior the cigarette making. The HCN determinations are achieved with classical method. The precursors list covers a wide number of nitrogen compounds, including amino acids, polypeptides, proteins, extracted tobacco pigments (melanoidins). These different precursors have been added at different doses. HCN results highlight the main contributors on the HCN smoke response and the relationship with quantitative enrichment of each nitrogen component. Different result expressions enable us to evaluate comparative contributions of these components and a possible HCN formation mechanism. Spiking enables us to estimate the relative contribution of each precursor in the non- enriched blend. This observation demonstrates the important role played by residual proteins on HCN content in smoke. Protein levels estimated in representative tobacco lots confirm the good relationship between HCN amounts and these nitrogen compounds. Protein evaluations allow the establishment of a model to predict blend potentiality for HCN in its smoke.