Using Ion Chromatography and Subsequent UV/VIS Detection to Determine Nitrite and Nitrate in Tobacco


The appearance of tobacco-specific nitrosamines is facilitated by the nitrite present in tobacco. Since most of these nitrosamines are carcinogenic, it is essential to determine the presence of nitrite content in tobacco.

This application note describes the application of ion chromatographic separation and subsequent UV/VIS detection after sequential suppression to determine the presence of nitrite and nitrate contents in acetic acid extracts of tobacco.


Tobacco extract (5% acetic acid)

Sample preparation

Dilution 1:10 in ultrapure water.


. .
Metrosep A Supp 7 - 250/4.0 6.1006.630
Metrosep A Supp 4/5 - Guard/4.0 6.1006.500


Eluent 3.6 mmol/L sodium carbonate
Regenerant 100 mmol/L sulfuric acid
Rinsing STREAM


Sequential suppression followed by UV/VIS detection.


. .
Flow rate 0.7 mL/minutes
Injection volume 20 μL
Pmax 15 MPa
Recording time 25 minutes
Column temperature 45 °C
Wavelength 220 nm


940 Professional IC Vario ONE/SeS/PP 2.940.1500
944 Professional UV/VIS Detector Vario 2.944.0010
858 Professional Sample Processor 2.858.0020
MSM Rotor A 6.2832.000
Adapter sleve for Suppressor Vario 6.2842.020


Anions Concentration [mg/kg] RSD [%, n = 3]
1 Acetate - -
2 Nitrite 0.23 8.9
3 Nitrate 337 1.0

Metrohm AG

About Metrohm

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Manufactured in Switzerland since 1943, Metrohm's instruments have a unique reputation for their robust design and outstanding quality. With thousands of installations worldwide, we are the established leader in titration

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Last updated: Jul 14, 2018 at 7:04 PM

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