The Quality Standard – GothiaTek®
GothiaTek® is a product quality standard established by Swedish Match and applies to the manufacture of the company’s Swedish snus products. The principal components of the GothiaTek® are standards relating to constituents, the manufacturing process, and consumer information. The constituent standard includes maximum levels for selected, undesired constituents in the finished products, including Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines (TSNAs). Although Swedish Match’s current manufacturing methods for snus build on those that were introduced more than a century ago, the quality of modern Swedish snus is largely due to improvements in production techniques and selection of raw materials in combination with several programmes for quality assurance and quality control that have been successively introduced by the company since the early 1970s. In 2001 these developments formed the basis for a codified, voluntary product quality standard named GothiaTek®. The maximum levels defined by GothiaTek® are pragmatic and based on considerations of what can be consistently achieved in large-scale production, comparisons with levels observed in common food stuffs, comparisons with estimated total daily exposure from food and drinking water, and from observations in Swedish epidemiological studies of no increased risk of oral cancer associated with long-term use of Swedish snus. During 2012 the GothiaTek® standard was updated to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) proposal for product regulation of smokeless tobacco products regarding upper limits for N’-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) plus 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P).
Currently Swedish Match is developing more detailed and comprehensive performance standards for GothiaTek® that will be discussed in the presentation.