US20040020503A1 - Smokeless tobacco product - Google Patents

Smokeless tobacco product Download PDF

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Publication number
US20040020503A1
US20040020503A1 US10/630,852 US63085203A US2004020503A1 US 20040020503 A1 US20040020503 A1 US 20040020503A1 US 63085203 A US63085203 A US 63085203A US 2004020503 A1 US2004020503 A1 US 2004020503A1
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Prior art keywords
tobacco
wt
powdered
smokeless tobacco
smokeless
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Abandoned
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US10/630,852
Inventor
Jonnie Williams
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REGENTS COURT TECHNOLOGIES LLC
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Williams Jonnie R.
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US09/845,249 priority Critical patent/US6668839B2/en
Priority to US32622401P priority
Priority to US33123601P priority
Priority to US10/134,689 priority patent/US6834654B2/en
Application filed by Williams Jonnie R. filed Critical Williams Jonnie R.
Priority to US10/630,852 priority patent/US20040020503A1/en
Publication of US20040020503A1 publication Critical patent/US20040020503A1/en
Assigned to REGENTS COURT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC reassignment REGENTS COURT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WILLIAMS, JONNIE R.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24BMANUFACTURE OR PREPARATION OF TOBACCO FOR SMOKING OR CHEWING; TOBACCO; SNUFF
    • A24B15/00Chemical features or treatment of tobacco; Tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/18Treatment of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/22Treatment of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes by application of electric or wave energy or particle radiation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24BMANUFACTURE OR PREPARATION OF TOBACCO FOR SMOKING OR CHEWING; TOBACCO; SNUFF
    • A24B15/00Chemical features or treatment of tobacco; Tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/10Chemical features of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/12Chemical features of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes of reconstituted tobacco
    • A24B15/14Chemical features of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes of reconstituted tobacco made of tobacco and a binding agent not derived from tobacco
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24BMANUFACTURE OR PREPARATION OF TOBACCO FOR SMOKING OR CHEWING; TOBACCO; SNUFF
    • A24B15/00Chemical features or treatment of tobacco; Tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/10Chemical features of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/16Chemical features of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes of tobacco substitutes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24BMANUFACTURE OR PREPARATION OF TOBACCO FOR SMOKING OR CHEWING; TOBACCO; SNUFF
    • A24B15/00Chemical features or treatment of tobacco; Tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/18Treatment of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes
    • A24B15/28Treatment of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes by chemical substances
    • A24B15/30Treatment of tobacco products or tobacco substitutes by chemical substances by organic substances

Abstract

A smokeless tobacco product suitable for human consumption is prepared from powdered tobacco. In one embodiment, the product comprises powdered tobacco and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % wintergreen. In another embodiment, the product comprises powdered tobacco and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % spearmint. The powdered tobacco can be prepared by pulverizing cured tobacco or, alternatively, from an aqueous extract of tobacco.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 10/134,689, filed Apr. 30, 2002, which in turn is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/845,249, filed May 1, 2001. Application Ser. No. 10/134,689 claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to provisional application No. 60/331,236, filed Nov. 13, 2001, and provisional application No. 60/326,224, filed Oct. 2, 2001. The disclosure of each of these applications is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.[0001]
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to tobacco products and, more particularly, to smokeless tobacco products. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • There are many oral delivery forms of tobacco. Such forms include chewing tobacco, chewing gum, bits, capsules, and tablets. Chewing tobacco utilizes chopped or shredded tobacco, which is placed in the mouth and ultimately removed from the mouth. Bits, tablets, and the like, are often designed to dissolve slowly in order to administer nicotine over a period of time. Such products are often obtained by chopping the tobacco plant or leaf and then extracting soluble components from the tobacco using a solvent. The resulting extract is dried and combined with other ingredients to form the products. [0003]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,368,567 describes a tablet having a tobacco concentrate and which is intended to be located in the mouth of the user. In preparing the tablet, nicotine and other active ingredients are extracted from cured tobacco that has been ground into fine particles. The tobacco is steeped in water and then concentrated mineral acid is added. The resulting liquid is applied to an absorbent, inert, edible base, to the extent that it constitutes less than 10% of the base. After the liquid is dried, the resultant material is compressed into a tablet. [0004]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,991,599 describes a fiberless tobacco product for smoking or chewing. The fiberless tobacco product is obtained by forming an aqueous extract of the tobacco. Cured tobacco leaves are preferably shredded or comminuted to minute particles, and boiling water or water vapor is passed through the particles to produce an aqueous, fiberless extract of tobacco. The aqueous extract is dried to produce a solid extract. The solid then is crushed into smokeable or chewable particles. [0005]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,387,416 describes extracting cured tobacco leaves with water to form a liquid extract. The liquid extract is concentrated to a solids concentration of about 30% dissolved solids, which is then spray dried to form a spray dried powder. The powder is then dissolved and added to gelatin, for example, and processed to form a tobacco composition that can be placed in the cheek. [0006]
  • Other products utilize a package containing a tobacco product that is placed in the mouth. The tobacco diffuses through the package and the package is ultimately taken out of the mouth and thrown away. Such products include SNOOSE wherein tobacco is placed in a mesh pouch and placed in the mouth. U.S. Pat. No. 4,907,605 directed to using a water-insoluble material (could be similar to a tea-bag) to dispense nicotine in the mouth. [0007]
  • There is a developing market for smoking cessation aids. Most notably have been the transdermal or transmucosal devices to allow delivery of nicotine through the skin or mouth. [0008]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,512,306 describes a smoking cessation aid in the form of an inclusion complex formed between nicotine and a cyclo compound such as polysaccharide. U.S. Pat. No. 5,525,351 is directed to a saliva-soluble stimulant formed from a gel and nicotine, while U.S. Pat. No. 5,783,207 describes forming a compressed tablet containing a matrix material and nicotine whereby the compressed tablet is attached to a holder for insertion into the mouth. [0009]
  • U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,135,753, 5,362,496, and 5,593,684, are each directed to the combination of transdermal nicotine delivery along with transmucosal or buccal delivery of nicotine. The latter delivery may be in the form of lozenges, gum, tablets, or capsules. [0010]
  • One of the drawbacks with the aforementioned products is that they may deliver a product too high in nitrosamines, which are carcinogens believed to be formed predominantly during tobacco curing. The group of nitrosamines identified in tobacco products include tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) such as N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), 4-(N-nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N′-nitrosoanatabine (NAT) and N′-nitrosoanabasine (NAB). It is believed that nitrosamines may be derived from tobacco alkaloids, of which nicotine is the most prevalent. It has been postulated, according to one group of researchers, that nicotine is nitrosated to form NNN, NNK and/or 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-4-(3-pyridyl) butanol (NNA) (Hoffman et al., “Formation, Occurrence, and Carcinogenicity of N-Nitrosamines in Tobacco Products” in O'Neill et al., N-Nitroso Compounds: Occurrence, Biological Effects and Relevance To Human Cancer, World Health Organization, 1984). Hecht et al., “Tobacco specific N-Nitrosamines Occurrence, Carcinogenicity, and Metabolism” Amer. Chem. Soc., 1979, postulated that NNN in unburned tobacco is at levels in the range of 0.3-9.0 ppm in cigarette tobacco, 3.0-45.3 ppm in cigar tobacco, 3.5-90.6 ppm in chewing tobacco, and 12.1-29.1 ppm in snuff. Up to 35 μg/g of NNK has been detected in tobacco, [0011] 0.2-8.3 μg/g in snuff products, and 0.1-0.5 mg/cig in cigarette smoke.
  • Techniques for substantially preventing the formation of nitrosamines in tobacco are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,803,081 and 6,338,348 to the present inventor, which describe the application of microwave radiation to uncured tobacco while in a state susceptible to having the formation of nitrosamines arrested. U.S. Pat. No. 6,311,695, also to the present inventor, describes the application of high frequency electromagnetic energy (e.g., electron beam, gamma rays) to uncured tobacco while in a susceptible state to substantially prevent the formation of nitrosamines. Alternatively, tobacco can be cured in a controlled environment to substantially prevent the formation of nitrosamines, as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,202,649 and 6,425,401, both to the present inventor. Each of U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,803,081, 6,202,649, 6,311,695, 6,338,348, and 6,425,401 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. [0012]
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to one aspect, the present invention is directed to a smokeless tobacco product comprising powdered tobacco and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % wintergreen. [0013]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a smokeless tobacco product comprises powdered tobacco and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % spearmint, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol. [0014]
  • The powdered tobacco can be prepared from pulverized tobacco stems, lamina, or both. Alternatively, the powdered tobacco can be prepared from an aqueous extract of tobacco stems, lamina, or both. The powdered tobacco, together with any flavorants or other ingredients, can be pressed into a bit or other form suitable for oral human consumption. [0015]
  • Preferably, the powdered tobacco contains very low levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). In one preferred embodiment, the powdered tobacco has a collective content of N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), 4-(N-nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N′-nitrosoanatabine (NAT) and N′-nitrosoanabasine (NAB) which is 0.3 μg/g or less, more preferably 0.2 μg/g or less, and even more preferably 0.1 μg/g or less. [0016]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The smokeless tobacco products described herein provide an alternative to cigarettes and traditional smokeless products. The smokeless tobacco product contains powdered tobacco and optionally other ingredients such as binders. In addition, the smokeless tobacco product contains suitable quantities of flavorants as described herein. The product preferably contains primarily water-soluble (or saliva-soluble) components, permitting transdermal or transmucosal delivery of nicotine and other components. The powder is preferably milled fine enough so that even insoluble components can be easily swallowed. The product preferably has a very low nitrosamine content, preferably at food-safe levels. [0017]
  • In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the smokeless tobacco product is a solid bit comprising powdered tobacco. The powdered tobacco may be produced from cured tobacco stems, lamina, or both (hereinafter collectively referred to as “tobacco material”). The relative proportion of tobacco material in the smokeless tobacco product depends on such factors as the particular composition of the tobacco leaf. The solid bit most often has from about 10% to about 80% of powdered tobacco by weight, more usually from about 25% to about 55% by weight. [0018]
  • Preferably, the cured tobacco material is pulverized, e.g. milled, to form a powdered tobacco. In this manner, the tobacco material is milled fine enough to produce an easily swallowed product. Alternatively, an extract of the tobacco material is dried to form a powder. In the extraction process, cured tobacco material is extracted with a solvent, typically water or steam. The resulting solution contains the water-soluble components of the tobacco, including nicotine. The solution is then dried and ground, as needed, to form a powdered tobacco. [0019]
  • The powdered tobacco may then be used to form a bit. Prior to forming the bit it may be desirable to process the powdered tobacco to form larger particles, such as by granulation or by rolling and grinding. Such processes provide particles, which are more readily formed into bits, and form bits, which do not disintegrate during handling and in the package. The larger particles are easier to handle than the smaller particles and do not form the “dust” associated with small powder particles. Furthermore, the larger particles compress into bits more readily than powder particles. This allows for higher speed bit formulation and easier machining of the bits. In addition, using either granulation or rolling and pressing provides an even distribution of flavorants, coloring agents, and the like, throughout the final bit. [0020]
  • Granulation increases the particle size by adding a binder to the powder and allowing the powder to clump into larger particles. By using a fluid granulation process, for example, the powder clumps into fairly larger particles. The granulation process may also be used to add the flavorants or other ingredients to the particles by including dissolved flavorants in the binder solution. [0021]
  • Rolling under pressure presses the particles into a flake or a bark. The flake or bark is then ground to form particles, which are larger than the original powder particles. Prior to rolling, the powder may be mixed with other ingredients including binders and flavorants. [0022]
  • The powder or particles are then compressed to form a bit. The bit may be processed and packaged by any suitable means. During use, the bit typically is placed in the mouth and allowed to dissolve, releasing the nicotine and other tobacco components. Any material that does not dissolve is easily swallowed along with the dissolved components. That is, for example, a bit formed from whole leaf pulverized tobacco, will disintegrate and dissolve in the mouth, such that any insoluble components are in the form of very small particles that are easily swallowed with the saliva. [0023]
  • The powdered tobacco of the smokeless tobacco product preferably is formed from cured tobacco stems, lamina, or both having very low TSNA content. Preferably, flue varieties of tobacco are used, i.e., Virginia flue. Tobacco stems generally have higher amounts of fibrous components than are present in lamina. Other differences exist. For example, stems typically have less bitterness than lamina. Lamina generally is easier to mill and has higher concentrations of soluble components. [0024]
  • First, tobacco is grown and harvested. The tobacco is cured and then removed from the curing barn. If only the stem or lamina is being used, the stem or lamina may be separated from the rest of the leaf either before or after curing. Preferably, the stem or lamina is separated after curing. [0025]
  • The tobacco material preferably is cured using a process designed to obtain very low-TSNA cured tobacco. For example, a microwave process may be used to substantially prevent the formation of nitrosamines during curing. U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,803,081 and 6,338,348 to the present inventor describe the use of microwaves to substantially prevent the formation of nitrosamines. U.S. Pat. No. 6,311,695, also to the present inventor, describes the application of high frequency electromagnetic energy (e.g., electron beam or gamma rays) to uncured tobacco to substantially prevent the formation of nitrosamines. Alternatively, tobacco can be cured in a controlled environment to substantially prevent the formation of nitrosamines, as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,202,649 and 6,425,401, both to the present inventor. [0026]
  • In accordance with one preferred aspect of the invention, the powdered tobacco has a collective content of N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), 4-(N-nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N′-nitrosoanatabine (NAT) and N′-nitrosoanabasine (NAB) which is 0.3 μg/g or less, preferably is 0.2 μg/g or less, more preferably 0.1 μg/g or less, more preferably less than about 0.09 μg/g, more preferably less than about 0.07 μg/g, and even more preferably less than about 0.05 μg/g, 0.03 μg/g, 0.015 μg/g, 0.01 μg/g, or lower. [0027]
  • Preferably, the powdered tobacco has an NNK content of about 0.002 μg/g or less, more preferably about 0.001 μg/g or less, and even more preferably about 0.0005 μg/g or less. Preferably, the powdered tobacco has an NNN content of about 0.1 μg/g or less, more preferably about 0.05 μg/g or less, and even more preferably about 0.03 μg/g or less. [0028]
  • After curing, before or after milling or extracting, the tobacco material is preferably subjected to a sterilization technique. The sterilization technique typically irradiates the tobacco to destroy any microbes remaining on the tobacco in order to prevent or substantially prevent the further formation of nitrosamines. Any suitable radiation may be used such as, but not limited to, microwaves, gamma rays or electron beams. U.S. Pat. No. 6,311,695, discussed above, describes the use of electron beams. [0029]
  • The cured tobacco material is subjected to a process to form a powdered tobacco. The process may comprise extracting and drying, or a pulverizing process such as milling. [0030]
  • A preferred method of forming powdered tobacco is pulverizing the cured tobacco material into a powder. The cured tobacco material may be pulverized by any suitable process, preferably by milling. Preferably, the tobacco material is milled into particles having a particle size of about 50 to about 300 mesh, typically about 150 mesh. [0031]
  • The tobacco material may be chopped or powdered and then subjected to an extraction process with water or other aqueous solvent. With the exception of the pulp, substantially all of the components in tobacco are water-soluble, including components such as nicotine and anti-depressive components such as MAO inhibitors (e.g., nornicotine, anabasine, anatabine, etc.). [0032]
  • Methods for forming aqueous tobacco extracts are known in the art as described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,065,775. In general, tobacco material is contacted with an aqueous solution to extract soluble components. The time of contact will depend on such factors as the water to tobacco ratio and the temperature of the aqueous solution. The aqueous extract produced by contact with the water solution is then separated from the insoluble fibrous tobacco residue, which can be accomplished using conventional solid-liquid separation techniques. For example, squeezing, centrifugation, and filtration techniques may be employed. If necessary, the separated tobacco extract may then be treated to adjust soluble solids content. [0033]
  • More particularly, cured tobacco material is contacted with an aqueous extraction solvent. Contact can be performed in either a continuous or batch-wise manner. The mixture of tobacco material and extraction solvent can be agitated in order to enhance removal of water-soluble components from the tobacco material. The mixture is subjected to separation conditions (e.g., using a centrifuge) so as to provide an aqueous tobacco extract (i.e., a water-soluble tobacco extract within the extraction solvent), and a water-insoluble tobacco residue. [0034]
  • The aqueous extraction solvent is primarily water, normally at least about 90 wt % water, and can be essentially pure water such as deionized water, distilled water, or tap water. The extraction solvent can be a co-solvent mixture, such as a mixture of water and minor amounts of one or more solvents that are miscible therewith. An example of such a co-solvent mixture is a solvent containing 95 parts water and 5 parts ethanol per 100 parts by weight. The extraction solvent also may include substances such as pH adjusters (i.e., acids or bases) or pH buffers dissolved therein. For example, an aqueous solvent can have ammonium hydroxide or gaseous ammonia incorporated therein so as to provide a solvent having a pH of about 8 or more. [0035]
  • The amount of the tobacco material which is contacted with the extraction solvent can vary over a wide range and depends upon such factors as the type of solvent, the temperature at which the extraction is performed, the type or form of tobacco material which is extracted, the manner in which contact of the tobacco material and solvent is conducted, and the type of extraction process which is performed. Typically, for a batch-wise extraction, the weight of extraction solvent relative to the tobacco stems is greater than about 6:1, oftentimes greater than about 8:1 and in certain instances can be greater than about 12:1. The manner for contacting the tobacco material with the extraction solvent is not particularly critical, e.g., the tobacco material can be extracted in either a continuous or batch-wise manner. For example, the tobacco material can be extracted using a continuous counter-current extractor. [0036]
  • Tobacco material can be extracted in a batch-wise manner one or more times using the solvent. Normally, the weight of extract and solvent relative to the weight of tobacco material for each batch extraction ranges from about 6:1 to about 40:1, more often from about 15:1 to 25:1. The number of times that the tobacco stems is contacted batch-wise with the processed tobacco extract and solvent ranges from about I to about [0037] 8 times, more usually from about 3 to 5 times.
  • The tobacco material can be extracted continuously. Normally, the weight of aqueous solvent relative to the tobacco material with which it is contacted during a continuous extraction process is greater than about 40:1 and often is greater than about 50:1. The conditions under which the extraction is performed can vary. Typical temperatures range from about 5 to 75° C., more often from about 10 to 60° C. Alternatively, steam can be used to extract the soluble components, which can be recovered in a condenser. The solvent/tobacco material mixture can be agitated (e.g., stirred, shaken or otherwise mixed) in order to increase the rate at which extraction occurs. [0038]
  • Typically, for a batch-wise extraction, adequate extraction of components occurs in less than about 60 minutes, oftentimes in less than about 30 minutes. A wide variety of components can be extracted from the tobacco material. Water-soluble tobacco components that are extracted from tobacco material using a solvent having an aqueous character include alkaloids (e.g., nicotine), acids, salts, sugars, and the like. Water-soluble extracted tobacco components include many of the aroma-producing and flavorful substances of the tobacco material. [0039]
  • The solvent and tobacco extract are separated from the insoluble tobacco residue. The manner of separation can vary; however, it is convenient to employ conventional separation techniques involving the use of filters, centrifuges, screw presses, converging belts, rotating disk presses, and the like. The insoluble residue can be treated to remove additional solvent and tobacco extract therefrom. [0040]
  • The solvent and tobacco components extracted thereby optionally can be filtered to remove suspended insoluble particles. In some cases it may be desirable to adjust the pH of the aqueous tobacco extract. For example, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,065,775, pH of an aqueous tobacco extract can be raised to promote removal of basic compounds, lowered to promote removal of acidic compounds, or made neutral to promote removal of neutral compounds. [0041]
  • After extraction, the aqueous extract is dried into a powder by any suitable process. Preferably the extract is spray-dried to form a powder. Spray-drying techniques are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,387,416, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. The powder is optionally bleached and then dried. The powder generally has a particle size of below 80 mesh and typically between 100 and 300 mesh. [0042]
  • If the average particle size of the powder is smaller than 80 mesh, as is typically the result with the extraction process, and may be the result of the milling process, then the powder is subjected to a process to increase its particle size, to conglomerate particles to make larger particles or both, to an average size greater than 80 mesh, preferably to an average particle size of between 14 and 80 mesh. Any suitable process may be used to increase particle size. Preferably the powder is granulated, or rolled and ground. Granulating or rolling and grinding the powder forms particles, which are easier to handle, machine, and compress into bits than the powder. [0043]
  • The powder may be granulated in any suitable manner. A preferred method uses a fluid bed granulator. The powder is placed in a fluid bed product bowl in the chamber of the fluid bed granulator. Air or other suitable gas is introduced into the chamber to blow the powder around the chamber. A liquid solution containing at least a binder is introduced into the chamber in the form of a very fine mist. The particles blow around in the mist. The particles become coated and start to clump together to make discrete uniform particles. A second mist of a buffer solution may then be introduced. After spraying, the particles are dried to the desired moisture level and lubricants may be added to the particles. [0044]
  • The powder may contain only tobacco or may include other ingredients such as sweeteners, flavorants, coloring agents, and fillers. The liquid solution may simply contain a binder or may contain other ingredients in addition to the binder such as flavorants, coloring agents, sweeteners, and fillers. The lubricant may be a powder or a liquid. The lubricant may also contain other ingredients such as flavorants and sweeteners. These other ingredients may be distributed throughout the tobacco powder, binder solution and lubricant. [0045]
  • The rolling and grinding process passes the powder though a roller under high pressure. The powder forms flake (bark), which is then ground to form particles having a size larger than the original particle size, i.e. greater than 80 mesh. Tobacco bits resulting from granulated or rolled and ground processes do not disintegrate but instead hold their form. [0046]
  • The smokeless tobacco product comprises powdered tobacco and a combination of flavorants, such as peppermint, menthol, and wintergreen or spearmint. Wintergreen oil, or methyl salicylate (C[0047] 6H4OHCOOCH3), can be prepared by heating methanol and salicylic acid in the presence of sulfuric acid, or by distillation from the leaves of Gaultheria procumbens or the bark of Betula lenta.
  • In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the smokeless tobacco product is a solid bit containing powdered tobacco and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % wintergreen, based on the total dry weight of the solid bit. Preferably, the solid bit contains from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % menthol, and from about 1 to about 10 wt % wintergreen; more preferably from about 1 to about 5 wt % peppermint, from about 1 to about 5 wt % menthol, and from about 2 to about 5 wt % wintergreen; and even more preferably from about 2 to about 3 wt % peppermint, from about 2 to about 3 wt % menthol, and from about 3 to about 4 wt % wintergreen. This particular combination of components has been found to provide a product with highly desirable flavor and other consumption characteristics. [0048]
  • In another embodiment, the smokeless tobacco product comprises a solid bit containing from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % spearmint. Preferably, the solid bit contains from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % spearmint; more preferably from about 1 to about 5 wt % peppermint, from about 1 to about 5 wt % menthol, and from about 1 to about 5 wt % spearmint; and even more preferably from about 2 to about 3 wt % peppermint, from about 2 to about 3 wt % menthol, and from about 2 to about 3 wt % spearmint. [0049]
  • If desired, one or more additional flavorants, such as propolis or eucalyptus, may be provided to reduce the irritation that can be caused by nicotine in the mouth and to enhance the flavor of the powdered tobacco while removing bitterness. U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,647 describes the use of propolis in tobacco-containing chewing gum and other tobacco products. [0050]
  • Other ingredients may be added to the powder prior to forming into a bit. Such ingredients include, but are not limited to sweeteners, fillers, coloring agents, buffers, and lubricants. Such ingredients may be added to the powdered tobacco or, if using granulation process, to the binder solution. [0051]
  • The relative amounts of such other components can vary over a wide range, depending on such factors as the particular tobacco used and consumer preferences. Typically, the amounts of individual components will range from about 0.5 wt % to about 15 wt %, more often from about 0.5 wt % to about 10 wt %, and even more often from about 1 wt % to about 5 wt %, based on the total weight of the powdered tobacco. [0052]
  • The smokeless tobacco product can be prepared by any suitable technique and is not limited by any particular method for its production. For example, powdered tobacco can be combined with excipients and a binder, and then granulated. The granulation can be dry-blended with the remaining ingredients, and compressed into a bit. The percent by weight of tobacco in the bit will vary depending on such factors as whether tobacco lamina is used. Since lamina has a higher concentration of nicotine than stems, generally lower amounts of tobacco are employed when lamina is used and higher amounts of tobacco are employed when only stems are used. The bit usually contains from about 10 to 80 wt % of powdered tobacco, preferably about 25 to 55 wt %. The weight of the bit can vary over a wide range, most often from about 75 mg to about 1,000 mg, more usually from about 150 mg to about 550 mg. [0053]
  • The user consumes the bit by placing it in the mouth. As the bit dissolves, the active tobacco components are dissolved in the saliva. Components in the powdered tobacco will transmucously absorb into the mouth or transdermally absorb into the skin or will be easily swallowed with the saliva. [0054]
  • The following examples illustrate granulating cured whole leaf tobacco that was pulverized into a powder. The resulting granules are compressed into tobacco bits using standard techniques.[0055]
  • EXAMPLE 1
  • Tobacco powder was combined with excipients in the product bowl of a fluid bed granulator. A binder solution was prepared and sprayed into the granulator, and the mixture was dried. The resulting mixture was dry-blended with peppermint, menthol, and wintergreen such that the resulting composition contained 2 wt % peppermint, 2 wt % menthol, and 3 wt % wintergreen. [0056]
  • EXAMPLE 2
  • Tobacco bits can be prepared essentially by the procedure described in Example 1, except that the resulting composition contains about 2 wt % peppermint, 2 wt % menthol, and 2 wt % spearmint. [0057]
  • While the invention has been described with respect to specific examples including presently preferred modes of carrying out the invention, those skilled in the art will appreciate that there are numerous variations and permutations of the above described systems and techniques that fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. [0058]

Claims (22)

What is claimed is:
1. A smokeless tobacco product suitable for human consumption comprising powdered tobacco and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % wintergreen.
2. The smokeless tobacco of claim 1 which comprises from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % peppermint, from about from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % menthol, and from about 1 to about 10 wt % wintergreen.
3. The smokeless tobacco of claim 2 which comprises from about 1 to about 5 wt % peppermint, from about from about 1 to about 5 wt % menthol, and from about 2 to about 5 wt % wintergreen.
4. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 1 which is a solid bit comprising from about 10% to about 80% powdered tobacco by weight.
5. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 4 wherein said solid bit comprises from about 25% to about 55 wt % powdered tobacco by weight.
6. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 1 wherein said powdered tobacco has a collective content of N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), 4-(N-nitrosomethyl-amino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N′-nitrosoanatabine (NAT) and N′-nitrosoanabasine (NAB) which is 0.3 μg/g or less.
7. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 6 wherein said collective content is 0.2 μg/g or less.
8. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 7 wherein said collective content is 0.1 μg/g or less.
9. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 1 wherein the powdered tobacco consists essentially of Virginia flue cured tobacco.
10. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 9 wherein said powdered tobacco comprises pulverized tobacco.
11. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 9 wherein said powdered tobacco is prepared from an extract of tobacco.
12. A smokeless tobacco product suitable for human consumption comprising powdered tobacco and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % peppermint, from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 15 wt % spearmint.
13. The smokeless tobacco of claim 12 which comprises from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % peppermint, from about from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % menthol, and from about 0.5 to about 10 wt % spearmint.
14. The smokeless tobacco of claim 13 which comprises from about 1 to about 5 wt % peppermint, from about from about 1 to about 5 wt % menthol, and from about 1 to about 5 wt % spearmint.
15. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 12 which is a solid bit comprising from about 10% to about 80% powdered tobacco by weight.
16. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 15 wherein said solid bit comprises from about 25% to about 55 wt % powdered tobacco by weight.
17. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 12 wherein said powdered tobacco has a collective content of N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), 4-(N-nitrosomethyl-amino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N′-nitrosoanatabine (NAT) and N′-nitrosoanabasine (NAB) which is 0.3 μg/g or less.
18. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 17 wherein said collective content is 0.2 μg/g or less.
19. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 18 wherein said collective content is 0.1 μg/g or less.
20. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 12 wherein the powdered tobacco consists essentially of Virginia flue cured tobacco.
21. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 20 wherein said powdered tobacco comprises pulverized tobacco.
22. The smokeless tobacco product of claim 20 wherein said powdered tobacco is prepared from an extract of tobacco.
US10/630,852 2001-05-01 2003-07-31 Smokeless tobacco product Abandoned US20040020503A1 (en)

Priority Applications (5)

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US09/845,249 US6668839B2 (en) 2001-05-01 2001-05-01 Smokeless tobacco product
US32622401P true 2001-10-02 2001-10-02
US33123601P true 2001-11-13 2001-11-13
US10/134,689 US6834654B2 (en) 2001-05-01 2002-04-30 Smokeless tobacco product
US10/630,852 US20040020503A1 (en) 2001-05-01 2003-07-31 Smokeless tobacco product

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

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US10/630,852 US20040020503A1 (en) 2001-05-01 2003-07-31 Smokeless tobacco product

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