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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6135215, 11 pages
Research Article

Nitrate and Nitrite Promote Formation of Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines via Nitrogen Oxides Intermediates during Postcured Storage under Warm Temperature

1Henan Agricultural University, National Tobacco Cultivation & Physiology & Biochemistry Research Center, Zhengzhou 450002, China
2Beijing Cigarette Factory, Shanghai Tobacco Group Co. Ltd., Beijing 100024, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Hongzhi Shi

Received 26 December 2016; Revised 7 February 2017; Accepted 7 March 2017; Published 29 March 2017

Academic Editor: Yang Xu

Copyright © 2017 Jun Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) are carcinogenic and are present in cured tobacco leaves. This study was designed to elucidate the mechanisms of TSNAs formation under warm temperature storage conditions. Results showed that nitrogen oxides (NOx) were produced from nitrate and nitrite in a short period of time under 45°C and then reacted with alkaloids to form TSNAs. Nitrite was more effective than nitrate in promoting TSNAs formation during 45°C storage which may be due to the fact that nitrite can produce a large amount of NOx in comparison with nitrate. Presence of activated carbon effectively inhibited the TSNAs formation because of the adsorption of NOx on the activated carbon. The results indicated that TSNAs are derived from a gas/solid phase nitrosation reaction between NOx and alkaloids. Nitrate and nitrite are major contributors to the formation of TSNAs during warm temperature storage of tobacco.