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Beiträge zur Tabakforschung International/Contributions to Tobacco Research

The Journal of BTFI GmbH

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Volume 27, Issue 2


Nicotine Analysis in Several Non-Tobacco Plant Materials

Serban C. Moldoveanu / Wayne A. Scott / Darlene M. Lawson
Published Online: 2016-05-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cttr-2016-0008


Present study describes the determination of nicotine in various plant samples with a low content of this compound. Nicotine is found naturally in plants from the Solanaceae family. The plants from Nicotiana genus contain large levels of nicotine. However, only low levels are present in plants from Solanum genus including potato, tomato, eggplant, and from Capsicum genus, which are used as food. Because the levels of nicotine in these materials are in the range of parts per billion, the measurements are difficult and the results are very different from study to study. The present study evaluated the level of nicotine in a number of plants (fruits, roots, leaves, tubers) from Solanaceae family (not including Nicotiana genus) and from several other vegetables commonly used as food. The analysis consisted of the treatment of plant material with an aqueous solution 5% NaOH at 70°C for 30 min, followed by extraction with TBME containing d3-nicotine as an internal standard. The TBME organic layer was analyzed on a 7890B/7000C GC-MS/MS system with a 30 m × 0.25 mm, 0.25 μm film CAM column. The MS/MS system worked in MRM positive ionization mode monitoring the transition 162 - 84 for nicotine and 165 - 87 for d3-nicotine. Particular attention was given to the preservation of the intact levels of nicotine in the plant material. The plant material was analyzed as is, without drying and with minimal exposure to contaminations. Separately, the moisture of the plant material was measured in order to report the nicotine level on a dry-basis. Levels of nicotine around 180 ng/g dry material were obtained for tomatoes and eggplant (fruit) and lower levels were obtained for green pepper and potato. Similar levels to that in the tomato fruit were detected in tomato leaves. Materials from other plant families also showed traces of nicotine. [Beitr. Tabakforsch. Int. 27 (2016) 54-59]

Keywords : Nicotine; Solanaceae; Tomato; Eggplant


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About the article

Published Online: 2016-05-18

Published in Print: 2016-04-01

Citation Information: Beiträge zur Tabakforschung International/Contributions to Tobacco Research, Volume 27, Issue 2, Pages 54–59, ISSN (Online) 1612-9237, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cttr-2016-0008.

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