An improved method for the determination of selected humectants in tobacco products
Humectants are an important class of compounds applied to tobacco primarily for the improvement of hydroscopic properties and to act as a carrier for flavor components. For the purposes of this study, we focused on the most prevalent humectants used, glycerol and propylene glycol.
Arista’s original humectants method was based on published Health Canada and CORESTA reference methods and involved a lengthy methanol extraction, GC-FID analysis and was limited in scope to only tobacco from cigarettes.
The objectives of this study were to improve methodology by reducing sample extraction time and expand the scope to include a variety of other tobacco products (e.g. moist snuff and Kreteks).
During development, it was observed that moist snuff products reached an extraction plateau after 30 minutes, while dry products had not. It was postulated that the elevated moisture content of certain tobacco products proved beneficial to the extraction efficiency of humectants. Water was incorporated into the extraction process resulting in a more efficient extraction of the dry products.
Using the improved method, humectants were extracted from tobacco, first with water to hydrate the tobacco cell structure; then with methanol to allow the extracts to remain amenable to GC-FID analysis. Quantitation was achieved using 1,3-butanediol as an internal standard.
The improved method was fully validated with a reduced extraction time and the scope extended to include various tobacco products.