Posted 07/22/2013 (Updated 08/14/2013)
UPDATED: This news story has been updated to include a link to the manuscript entry in the Beiträge Zur Tabakforschung International journal.
In 2011, TTB's Tobacco Laboratory initiated a project to develop a method for the analysis of humectants in tobacco products to be utilized for product characterization. Humectants are usually used in tobacco products to retain moisture. Typical humectants are glycerol, propylene glycol, and triethylene glycol.
Through their research, TTB chemists developed a method for humectant analysis in tobacco products using a column splitter technique for simultaneous analysis by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (MS) and flame ionization detectors (FID). The sensitivity of FID and the selectivity of MS make this an attractive method for the analysis of tobacco humectants.
TTB chemists compiled the details and the results of their research in a manuscript titled, "Quantitative Analysis of Humectants in Tobacco Products using Gas Chromatography with Simultaneous Mass Spectography and Flame Ionization Detectors." The paper was published in the June 2013 edition of the Beiträge zur Tabakforschung International/Contributions to Tobacco Research journal.
TTB's Tobacco Laboratory plans to use humectant concentration as a test for characterizing various tobacco products for tax classification.
John Shifflet, TTB Chemist, and Tina Rainey, TTB intern and graduate student from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, designed the experimental parameters, prepared the technical manuscript, and submitted it to the tobacco industry journal.