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Innovative Approaches for Estimating the Levels of Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines in Cured Tobacco Samples

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journal contribution
posted on 16.08.2018, 00:00 by Samuel Kaiser, Frederico L. F. Soares, Jorge A. Ardila, Marcelo C. A. Marcelo, Jailson C. Dias, Liliane M. F. Porte, Carlos Gonçalves, Oscar F. S. Pontes, Guilherme P. Sabin
Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), mainly the 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), are known carcinogens. Part of the NNK found in smoke is provided from matrix-bound NNK, and its determination is extremely relevant. However, the reference extraction procedure of matrix-bound NNK is time-consuming and labor-intensive and has a limited analytical capacity. Three different methodologies were proposed to predict matrix-bound NNK: simple linear regression (LR) with soluble NNK; multiple linear regression (MLR) considering soluble NNK and characteristic parameters of the samples; and orthogonal partial least-squares (O-PLS) regression using high-throughput screening by flow injection analysis coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (HTS-FIA-HRMS) data. Simple linear regression showed a high influence of matrix and leaf origin. Although an existing linearity trend has been observed (R2 = 0.62) for the global model, higher correlation values were achieved for matrix and country segregation models. Multiple linear regression predicted matrix-bound NNK with more satisfactory efficiency than simple linear regression models. The coefficients of determination were 0.87 and 0.94 for flue-cured Virginia and air-cured Burley, respectively. However, this method has a limited application, since previous information about the sample is required. The proposed method based on HTS-FIA-HRMS and O-PLS has shown the most suitable performance in the prediction of matrix-bound NNK, with errors comparable to the reference method, and a higher throughput. In addition, this approach allows to determine other soluble nitrosamines, namely N′-nitrosoanatabine, N′-nitrosoanabasine, and N-nitrosonornicotine, with relative percentage errors between 5.25 and 11.98%. Therefore, the third approach is the best method for a large number of cured tobacco for accuracy in determination of TSNAs.