Profiling of various tobacco products using headspace - solid phase microextraction - gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GCMS).
The aim of this research was to develop a rapid screening method that could be applied to the detection of flavors currently found in tobacco products. HS-SPME-GCMS was the chosen technique since this approach has been used previously in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of processed tobacco and tobacco smoke. The approach is particularly useful for the analysis of a wide range of volatile and semi-volatile compounds when optimized to give very low chromatographic background. Identification of the chromatographic peaks is achieved from the mass spectral information. These analysis parameters represent the compromise made to assure method suitability across the diverse range of tobacco products being tested. 0.5 grams of tobacco product were placed into a 10mL headspace vial. The addition of a 2 mL saturated KCL solution provided a consistent response. Extraction of the headspace onto a PDMS-DVB fiber occurred at 50°C, with desorption onto the GC column occurring at 250°C. Chromatographic separation was achieved using a 60 m × 0.25 mm ID × 0.25 µm DB-5MS column, over a 60 minute run time. The mass spec was operated in the range from 35-500 m/z. A series of tobacco products was analyzed using this technique. Profiles of tobacco filler, pipe tobacco, cigar tobacco, smokeless products, hookah (“shisha”) tobacco and more “novel” products will be presented and the technique’s profile interpretation discussed.