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Tobacco - a foodstuff?

Analyses of raw tobacco, processed tobacco and tobacco products are becoming increasingly significant for producers, suppliers and purchasers of tobacco, as well as in terms of food legislation. Currently 99 agricultural residues are being checked in the context of good agricultural practice (GAP) and the concept of Guidance Residue Levels (ARLs). Only few laboratories around the world are able to perform these challenging analytical tasks.

In botanical terms, the tobacco plant is related to the potato. Because of its alkaloid content, tobacco is cultivated as a crop plant in numerous countries. In Switzerland, food products, beverages and tobacco are governed by the Swiss food law (Lebensmittelgesetz – LMG). 
In the production of, for example, cigarettes, up to 50 types of tobacco of various origins may be blended and mixed with additives. During cultivation and storage in the countries of origin, synthetic agrochemicals are used. With the global expansion in cigarette smuggling, an increasing number of counterfeit goods, which exceed maximum permissible levels of crop protection products, as well as nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, are also coming onto the market.

Read the article “Tobacco – a foodstuff?” by Susanne Täuber in the 3/2008 edition of Lebensmittel-Technologie.

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Qualitätskontrolle von Tabakwaren: Zigaretten
Quality control of tobacco goods: cigarettes
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