Quantitation of ten flavor compounds in unburned tobacco products†
Most research on unburned tobacco has focused on the harmful chemicals associated with the tobacco itself. However, certain flavor additives in tobacco products can pose additional health risks. Flavors like camphor, coumarin, pulegone, eugenol, methyl salicylate, menthol and diphenyl ether have exhibited biological activity and/or toxicity in both lab animals and humans. This publication presents a new GC/MS method for the quantitation of ten flavor compounds (eucalyptol, camphor, menthol, pulegone, ethyl salicylate, methyl salicylate, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, diphenyl ether and coumarin) in a variety of tobacco products, including smokeless products and cigar filler. Excellent linearity (>0.997), accuracy (93.9–106.6%) and precision (CV, 0.5–3.0%) were achieved for all flavor analytes measured. A summary of the concentrations of these flavors in selected international smokeless tobacco (SLT) products including zarda, quiwam, gutkha, and khaini varieties from Southeast Asia and snuff, clove cigarette filler and flavored cigar filler from the United States is reported. High concentrations of eugenol (2110 μg g−1), coumarin (439 μg g−1), camphor (1060 μg g−1) and diphenyl ether (4840 μg g−1) were found in selected products. Accurate identification and quantitation of potentially hazardous flavor compounds is important because they can exist in relatively high levels in some tobacco products, including international SLT products. We outline a versatile method which can be used to quantitate flavor compounds in multiple types of tobacco products.