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Quantitation of Nicotine in Tobacco Products by Capillary Electrophoresis

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A simple and rapid capillary electrophoresis (CE) method was developed for the quantitation of nicotine in commercial tobacco products. The method involves a 6 min run at 30 kV, using a 50mM phosphate buffer (pH 2.5), paraquat as internal standard, and UV detection at 260 nm. Nicotine was extracted from tobacco products in <15 min. Recoveries from spiked extracts were >95%, and the extraction efficiencies of water, 1M HCl, 1M acetic acid, 5mM phosphate buffer (pH 2.5), and 1% triethanol amine were similar. Nicotine concentrations in 67 samples of cigarettes, cigars, and bidis varied between 0.37 and 2.96% (w/w). An established gas chromatography/mass spectrometry method using toluene extraction consistently yielded lower nicotine values than the CE method. Experimental evidence suggests that this is due to insufficient extraction of nicotine by toluene.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, National Laboratory Center, 1401 Research Blvd, Rockville, MD 20850.

Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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