High Molecular Weight Materials of Tobacco
The present report constitutes a review of our current knowledge on the high molecular weight constituents of tobacco. Because of the vast literature on the subject, only selected highlights will be discussed. Generally high molecular weight substances of leaf may be divided into three groups: proteins, polysaccharides, and polymeric polyphenols. The polysaccharides include cellulose, starch, and the pectins. The polyphenols include lignin and the brown pigments. The proteins, polysaccharides, and polymeric polyphenols together comprise from 30 to 40% of tobacco leaf, with the polysaccharides being the most abundant group. Due to their extensive occurrence, a thorough knowledge of their chemical and physical properties is essential to our understanding of leaf composition and the effect upon smoke quality and smoke-health hazards. Certainly, the pyrolytic products of the polysaccharides will contribute significantly to smoke composition and will moreover affect the organoleptic characteristics of the smoke. However, this topic is the subject of other presentations and will not be discussed here.
KeywordsChlorogenic Acid Tobacco Leaf Brown Pigment Ammonium Oxalate Polygalacturonic Acid
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