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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21;55(4):1097-102. Epub 2007 Jan 27.

Fast analysis of nicotine in tobacco using double-shot pyrolysis--gas chromatography--mass spectrometry.

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Department of Tobacco Research, KT&G Central Research Institute, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-805, Korea.


A simple, rapid, and sensitive assay of nicotine in tobacco has been developed using pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (DSP-GC-MS). The optimum pyrolyzer (desorption) conditions, using Korean tobacco grade B1O (0.4 mg) and n-heptadecane as an internal standard, were found to be heating from 50 to 300 degrees C at a rate of 60 degrees C/min. Replicate determinations (n = 5), on the same tobacco and using n-heptadecane as the internal standard, resulted in a nicotine content of 1.96%, with a relative standard deviation (RSD) of 1.9%. This result was in good agreement with those from established methods: the Cai ether extraction method, a chloroform extraction method, and the CORESTA recommended method. However, the DSP method requires less than half the time of the solvent extraction methods, requires less sample, is almost solvent-free, and is less labor-intensive. The DSP method was used to determine the nicotine content of eight flue-cured tobaccos from Brazil, China, Korea, and the United States, which were found to have contents ranging from 1.21 to 2.19%.

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