Removal of toxicants using reconstituted tobacco sheet with novel plant fibre
The China Institute of Tobacco has encouraged the pursuit of a potential method or process to reduce toxic products in cigarettes, to reduce the risk of one or more specific diseases or other adverse health effects. Reconstituted tobacco sheet (RTS), used as an important cigarette blend component, has attracted more attention to reduce exposure to toxic materials in the cigarette smoking process. RTS is mainly composed of tobacco flavour, cellulosic fibres, calcium carbonate and polymers. Today, the cellulosic fibres in the RTS are mainly derived from tobacco fibres and softwood pulp (SP). All these fibres can reduce toxicants in the combustion of RTS. One potential approach was to replace some SP with porous plant fibres (PPF) in RTS. SP and PPF were characterised using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). SEM images showed that compared with SP, the selected PPF have soft and loose structures, which can support the cellulosic paper with a “skeletal structure”. Also, RTS materials with SP and PPF, separately, were characterised using various techniques, such as tensile strength, filling power test, air permeance test, and SEM. Compared with RTS containing SP, the RTS with selected PPF had higher filling power, air permeance and adsorptive rate of liquid tobacco extracts, but with a lower tensile strength, which can be demonstrated by SEM images. Mainstream smoke yields of four toxicants were measured from RTS cigarettes containing porous plant fibres. The process reduced levels of total particular matter (25-39%), nicotine (18-23%), tar (35-43%), and carbon monoxide (20-30%). Toxicants adsorption values demonstrate that RTS with selected porous plant fibres can reduce exposure to toxic products in cigarettes.