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The Characterization of Flavored Tobacco with GCxGC-TOFMS

The Characterization of Flavored Tobacco with GCxGC-TOFMS content piece image
The characterization of flavor analytes in complex natural products, such as tobacco, is important. Information on naturally present flavors can aid in quality control and process optimization, and flavor additives are regulated by the FDA. Detecting and identifying individual flavor compounds, both naturally occurring and additives, within a complex tobacco matrix can be accomplished with chromatographic separations paired with mass spectral detection.

Methods were developed for sample preparation, chromatographic separation, and mass spectral detection to analyze natural flavor analytes and flavor additives in tobacco. Various tobacco products, including cigarettes and flavored tobacco, were analyzed. The volatile and semi-volatile compounds were sampled with headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME). Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) methods were developed to isolate and identify individual analytes within the complex tobacco matrix, including flavor compounds known to occur naturally in tobacco as well as flavor additives. Additional high resolution MS data were collected with LECO’s Pegasus® GC-HRT for confirmation of analyte identities through accurate mass measurements and for gaining insight to analytes that were previously unknown. These techniques provide a reliable method to locate, identify, and quantify tobacco flavors, and offer rapid characterization of tobacco products and their flavor analytes.