Quantification of flavor-related compounds in the unburned contents of bidi and clove cigarettes

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8580-8. doi: 10.1021/jf060733o.


Bidi cigarettes, small hand-rolled cigarettes produced primarily in India, are sold in the United States in a wide variety of candy-like flavors (e.g. dewberry, chocolate, clove) and are popular with adolescents. Many flavored bidis contain high concentrations of compounds such as eugenol, anethole, methyleugenol, pulegone, and estragole; several of these compounds have known toxic or carcinogenic properties. Clove cigarettes, or kreteks, are another highly flavored tobacco product with high levels of eugenol due to clove buds present in the tobacco filler. In this study, compounds in the burnable portion-the filler and wrapper material actually consumed during the smoking of bidis, kreteks, and U.S. cigarettes-were analyzed. Flavor-related compounds were solvent extracted from the burnable portion of each cigarette with methanol. An aliquot of the methanol extract was heated, and the sample headspace was sampled with a solid-phase microextraction fiber and introduced into a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer for analysis in selected-ion monitoring mode. High levels of eugenol were detected in five clove-flavored bidi brands ranging from 78.6 to 7130 microg/cigarette (microg/cig), whereas diphenyl ether (128-3550 microg/cig) and methyl anthranilate (154-2360 microg/cig) were found in one grape-flavored bidi brand. A nontobacco herbal bidi brand contained the greatest variety of compounds, including anethole (489-665 microg/cig), eugenol (1670-2470 microg/cig), methyleugenol (27.7-36.6 microg/cig), safrole (32.4-34.4 microg/cig), myristicin (170-247 microg/cig), and elemicin (101-109 microg/cig). Filler from kreteks was found to contain high levels of eugenol, anethole, and coumarin. Flavored bidis and clove cigarettes contain a number of compounds that are present at levels far exceeding those reported in U.S. cigarette tobacco. Research is underway to determine the levels of these compounds delivered in smoke. It is not known what effect inhalation of these compounds has on smokers.

MeSH terms

  • Filtration
  • Fires
  • Flavoring Agents / analysis*
  • Flavoring Agents / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Syzygium / chemistry*
  • Tobacco / chemistry*


  • Flavoring Agents