Summarizes the various issues which are considered when "conducting menthol cigarette development." Includes the issues of leave blending, casing additives, cased leaf drying, desired menthol perception and flavorings, and menthol application systems. Discusses the status of the U.S. menthol market in 1990. Summarizes the results of a menthol migration study, whose objective was to "determine the impact of menthol placement within the cigarette on the movement of menthol from tip to tobacco and from tobacco to tip." Attaches the results of two reports prepared by Eastman Koda, one regarding the effect of age on the menthol and triacetin delivery of mentholated cigarettes and the other regarding mechanisms of menthol delivery in filter cigarettes. Includes charts and bibliographies.
- Cantrell, D.V.
- Hoechst Celanese Corporation
- Eastman Chemical, C.O.
- Eastman Kodak, C.O.
- Strickler, D.
- Renfro, L.
- Flavor/ Taste (Attribute measure)
- Irritation (Attribute measure)
- Smoothness/Harshness (Attribute measure)
- Humectants (Additives to maintain moisture)
- Propylene glycol
- Sucrose (Sugar)
- Corn syrup (Corn Syrup, Solid, High Fructose, Hydrogenated)
- Invert sugar
- Lactic acid (Lactic Acid and dl-Lactic Acid)
- Cocoa (Chocolate) (Cocoa Shells, Extract, Distillate and Powder)
Composed of nearly 400 identified chemical substances as of 1967
- Licorice (Licorice Fluid Extract, Powder, and Root)
- Chocolate liquor
see also: Ammonium bicarbonate, Ammonium carbonate, Ammonium chloride, Ammonium hydroxide, Ammonium sulfide, Diammonium phosphate, and Urea
- Smoke Constituent
- Design Component
- Flue-cured tobacco
- Blended leaf (BL)
- Burley tobacco
- Oriental tobacco (Turkish)
- Reconstituted tobacco
- Expanded stem (Puffed stem, ES)
- Project ART (Denicotinized cigarette)
- Named Organization
- Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation (B&W)
Subsidiary of BAT U.S., located in Louisville, KY.
- Menthol (Additives)
- Salem (RJR)
- Kool (BW (1933-2003)/RJR (2003-present))
First Menthol cigarette line, released in 1933. Premium priced brand.
- Newport (Lorillard)
- Belair (BW)
- Marlboro (PM)
- Benson & Hedges (PM)
- Virginia Slims (PM)
- Doral (RJR)
- Capri (PM)
- Kool KS
- Kool Milds KS
- Newport KS
- Kool XL
- Marlboro Menthol
- Now Menthol Ks
Page 1: 0000967595
VARIOUS ASPECTS OF MENTHOL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
By: D. V. Cantrell
MENTHOL MIGRATION STUDY
By: Hoechst Celanese Corporation
EFFECT OF AGE ON TIIEMENTHOLAND TRIACETIN DELIVERY
OF MENTHOLATED CIGARETTES
By: Eastman Chemical Company, Eastman Kodak Company
MECHANISMS O} ~NTHOL DE~Y IN FILTER CIGARETTES
By: Eastman Chemical Company, Eastman Kodak Company
5S4 .0G 23
Page 2: 0000967595
Page 3: 0000967595
PRODUCT DEVELOPMY.NT REPORT
VARIOUS ASPECTS OF ~q~l~OL PR..ODUCT DEVELOPMENT
by : D.V. CANTRELL
This document summarizes various issues which are normally considered
when conducting menthol cigarette development. Five important issues
are discussed, including leaf blending, casing additives, cased leaf
drying, desired menthol perception and flavorings, and menthol
application systems. While this information represents ~W views, the
direction practiced regarding each issue may be dictated by consumer's
taste preferences and/or manufacturing limitations.
SUMMARY OF U.S. MENTHOL MARKET
The U.S. cigarette market volume in 1990 was 522 billion cigarettes.
Of this, menthol cigarettes accounted for 26.7% of the market. The
major brands which make up the menthol market are Salem (6.1%), KOOL
(4.9%), Newport (4.7%), BELAIR (0.6%), and Alpine (0.6%). All are
free-standlng menthol brands, i.e., they don't have a non-menthol
companion. The remainder of the menthol market consists of mostly
menthol companion brands of popular non-menthol brands, such as
Marlboro, Benson & Hedges, Virginia Slims, Dotal, CAPRI, and RICHIAND.
Over the last 15 years the menthol segment has been declining slowly,
from a high of 33% market share in 1975 to the present share of 26.7%.
MENTHOL PRODUCT DEVELO~
While there are many issues to address during menthol cigarette
developmento usually the same four to five issues will always be
examined during a menthol development project. These are:
I. Leaf blending
II. Casing additives
III. Cased leaf drying
IV. *Desired menthol perception and flavor character
V. Menthol application systems
Each issue will be discussed separately, however, items l-IV should be
considered collectively since together they act to define a menthol
cigarette's taste properties. Item V, menthol application systems, is
the only issue which is not dictated by consumer's taste preferences.
Rather, it is an issue determined by manufacturing
To keep this discussion simple, any mention of menthol refers to the
"L" isomer. The "D" isomer is not used since it lacks the minty
character which U.S. menthol smokers highly desire.
Page 4: 0000967595
I. LEAF BLENDING
The leaf blend should not only provide the customer's desire for
tobacco taste, but should also be synergistic or at least
compatible with the clean, fresh taste of menthol. A blend
direction with a Flue-cured skew is recommended, eg., a 70/30 to
55/45 flue/hurley lamina blend ratio~
If available, the Flue-cured and Burley Erades of choice and use
ranges are shown below in Table I.
FLUE-CURED AND BUELE¥ CRADES AND EECO]'D, IT..,NDED USE RANGE
FLUE- CU~.ED I~UP,.L-~,
RANGE (%) GRADE RANGE (%)
7" 14 "X" O- 2
12-14 "B" 12-18
9-13 "R= 2-4
The use of Oriental tobacco is recommended but should not exceed
15%. A preferable range is 6-10%. For best overall taste in a
menthol product, we do not recommend using the best quality
oriental grades having the most aromatic character. We find these
grades, like CAB, offer greater benefit in a non-menthol blend.
The =A= grades frequently used are: YAB, UAB, TAB, and BAB.
Since Oriental taste should not be dominant, the use of "B" grade
Oriental (eg., YB and TB) can be used to dilute the cost and
aromatic quality of the "A" Oriental grades.
The practice of blending with medium to high levels of Flue and
Burley flavor grades also help dilute the Oriental aromatic taste.
The reason for keeping the Oriental level low is that the =woody,
cedary" notes are not totally compatible with menthol taste.
The two remaining blend components for discussion are the types of
by-products, reconstituted tobacco (recon) and stem (WTS), used
for menthol product development. Historically, B&W has practiced
using PJS or ART (examples of non-ammonlated recons) and~/TS (a
blend of flue and burley stems) in their menthol products. The
levels of PJS and~T/S in blends have been 10-14% and 12-15%,
respectively. While this practice still continues for some
menthol brands, our newer products are using around 6% all
flue-curedWTS and either P3S/ART or EBR at around 17%.
With respect to recon, we have experimented with the use of
ammoniated recons (EBR and CPCL) and found them to be beneficial
among certain menthol smokers, especially smokers of Philip Morris
Page 5: 0000967595
products. Relative to PJS, EBR and CPCL offer less irritation but
also a slightly dirt-y/ammonia taste. When using EBR/CPCL the type
of stem used is flue-cured WTS. Obviously, the type of recon used
in development projects will mostly be dictated by the target
consumer. An excellent example of this is Philip Morris's recent
change in the type of recon used in Alpine and Marlboro Menthol
from ammoniated to non-ammoniated. This was done to attract KOOL
If stem is a consideration in rahe blend then, we recommendusing
flue-cured stem. It offers a cleaner taste than burley stem. As
in B/~W's case, availabillt-ymay dictate the use of both flue and
burley stem in certain brands.
The last blend topic concerns expanded tobacco (ET). At B&W, we
practice expanding a blend of 50/50 flue-cured and burley. Since
our expanded leaf is cased only with glycerine, we limit the ET
levels to around 10% of the blend for Full Taste and Light~
products. Ultra low tar products usually contain greater than 10%
to enhance mouthful of smoke.
II. CASING ADDITIVES
Casing additives are used for two purposes: 1) as humectants to
maintain moisture and help plasticize the leaf to reduce break-up
during primary processing, and 2) as taste modifiers to enhance
tobacco smoke quality or to ameliorate harshness and irritation.
Examples of additives used for these two purposes wlthusage
levels are presented in Table 2.
(level represents % in final cigarette)
Propylene Glycol I-2
corn syrup 1-2
invert syrup I-3
TASTE MODIFIERS LEVEL (%)
Lactic Acid 0.5-1
Cocoa powder 0.2-0.5
Chocolate Liquor 0.2-0.5
- 3 -
Page 6: 0000967595
The level of casing materials such as sugar depends on the grade
types of flue-cured and burley used. With the use of good flavor
grades and tip grades the level of sugar applied is low (eg.,
25-50 k8/1000 kilos of flue-cured leaf, and 100-150 kg/1000 kilos
of burley leaf). For less flavorful burley leaf which is low in
quality, higher levels of sugar may be needed. Flue-cured leaf
which is low in nicotine, high in sugar, and overall low in
quality should not be cased with further sugars. The recommended
sugar for flue-cured is corn syrup or honey, while r_he sugars for
burley are a combination of sucrose, invert syrup, and/or honey.
The additives of cocoa and licorice are used only when the burley ~o~c ~ .~
is to be redrled. While lactic acid can be used to ameliorate / ~
irritation and harshness, it can also be applied in the final
flavor step. Chocolate liquor is very high in butterfat (-50%)
which is effective in reducing harshness of r_he burley tobaccos
and provides body to the smoke. If the hurley is to be redrled,
then sugars like sucrose and invert syrup are applied prior to
redrying in a ratio of 70/30, respectively, at a combined level of
i00 kg/1000 kilos of burley. The redried leaf is then given a
final casing which normally contains honey and invert syrup in a
ratio of 25/75, respectively, at a level of 25 kg/lO00 kilos of
redried burley leaf. The oriental is normally cased with the
flue-cured leaf. The amount of oriental is not however considered
when calculating the amount of casing additives for the !
flue-cured. So, in effect, the oriental dilutes the amount of
casing applied to the flue-cured leaf. This is quite acceptable.
If possible, we would recommend casing the recon with either the
flue-cured or post redrled burley leaf. An adjustment in casing
amounts should be made to account for the dilution effect of the
While B&N does not practice post-caslng the ET or NTS, this is
certainly acceptable for certain ET or NTS blends.
CASED LEAF DRYING
Cased leaf drying refers to redrying r_he burley leaf blend. B&W
has menthol brands which have the burley redried and brands which
do not. The majority of our menthol product sales do not use
redried burley. The reasons we don't redry certain menthol brands
Redrying produces Maillard type reactions giving rise to
roasted/toasted notes, which cause an incompatible taste
character with the menthol.
By using good flavor grades of hurley, the amount of burley
needed in a blend to give acceptable air-cured taste is less
if it isn't redried.
Redrying subdues the robust strength of burley which in some
brands "robustness" is a desired attribute.
Limited redrylng capacity.
- 4 -
Page 7: 0000967595
The brands which do utilize redrled burley are newer, and are
targeted at smokers of co~petitive menthol brands which also
utilize redried burley. Besides the effects of redrying mentioned
above, redrylng is effective in reducing harshness and irritation.
However, one must be able to accept the modified tobacco taste as
a result of redrylng. This is dlffigult to do when trying to
improve an established menthol brand with a large franchise of
loyal smokers. The best opportunity to use redrylng is in a new
product having no pre-established smoker base. An example of this
is KOOL XL for Japan where the menthol market is small but has
strong potential for growth.
IV. DESIRED MENTHOL PERCEPTION
This issue covers two topics, one being the type of menthol taste
desired and the other being the level of menthol cooling desired.
Type of Menthol Taste;
While there are basically two types of menthol, natural and
synthetic, we break them down further because of ~helr dlfferen~
taste properties. The natural menthol types available are:
- currently produced predominantly in Paraguay.
Each of the above natural menthol types has a distinctly different
taste character in cigarettes. These differences are described
- gives a mint~j, clean, crisp cooling effect.
gives a musty, slightly dirty, camphoraceous cooling
gives a variable degree of mintiness and has a
green, herbaceous cooling taste character.
- gives a sweet, eucalyptol cooling taste character.
As one can see, the type of menthol taste can be altered
distinctly by using different types of natural menthol. The
reason for r_he taste properties is due to the different levels of
minute quantities of impurities in each type. Obviously, these
chemical differences are a function of the various soll and
climatic conditions, cultivation, and distillation techniques
practiced in the production of menthol throughout the world.
- 5 -
Page 8: 0000967595
The other type of menthol used within the industry is synthetic.
We know of two major suppliers of synthetic menthol. These are
Haarmann & Relmer, a German Co. with production facilities in
Charleston, South Caroliru~-USA and Holtzmlnden, Germany, and the
second being Takasago, a Japanese Co. Currently, B&W purchases
synthetic menthol from Haarmann & Reimer. Their product was rated
better than Takasago's, and we have a better working relationship
with Haarmann & Reimer.
The difference between synthetic and natural menthol is that
synthetic is essentially pure L-menthol (99.95a). Natural
menthol, on the other hand, has mint impurities which produce a
distinct taste difference. Natural menthol is usually 99.5% pure
In 1987, B&W researched different ratios of natural and synthetic
menthol for the purpose of learning which ratio offers the ~est
menthol taste properties. The result of the research established
that the best tasting menthol smoke quality was between ratios of
80% natural/20% synthetic and 60% natural/40% synthetic. We chose
the midpoint of 70% natural/30% synthetic. Upon establishing r_his
by subjective panel testing, we theorize that the addition of
synthetic menthol acts to dilute the natural menthol impurities to
a more optimum level for menthol smoke quality. We also know from
years of GC analyses that the natural menthol impurities vary in
level from one year to the next. So by using synthetic, the
cigarette's menthol taste properties are more consistent because
the synthetic acts to moderate the inherent variation in natural
Level of Menthol CoolinK Desired:
The level of menthol cooling is predominantly a function of the
menthol content within the cigarette. Levels discussed in this
section are expressed in %. The percentage value correlates to
the measured amount of menthol analyzed within the total cigarette
(tobacco, paper, and filter) divided by the amount of tobacco in
the cigarette times I00.
Factors which affect menthol cooling are:
i. Menthol content
3. Cigarette tar and nlcotine delivery
4. Flavor additives
5. Filter plasticizer
o 6 -
Page 9: 0000967595
The most slgniflcant factor affecting menthol cooling is the
cigarette's menthol content. Examples of this are shown in Table
3, below. Note also the impact of the cigarette's tar and
nicotine delivery upon menthol delivez~.
TAR, NICOTINE AND ~JTTHOL DELIVERY VS.
CIG. MENTHOL CONTENT
MENTHOL TAR NIC
MENTHOL # of
KOOLKS 0.42 17 1.2
K00L X L KS (Japan) 0.34 9 0.8 0.24 7.6
K00L MILDS KS 0.52 12 0.9 0.50 7.3
K00L DELUXE LTS KS 0.70 9 0.8 0.50 7.8
NEWPORT KS 0.34 17 1.3 0.~ 7.2
SALEM KS 0.42 18 1.4 0.58 7.3
SALEM LTS KS 0.58 8 0.7 0.40 6.9
ALPINE KS 0.42 17 I.I 0.48 7.3
N0W MENTHOLKS 1.90 1 0.2 0.15 6.3
For a full flavor product, the menthol contents range from 0.34 to
0.42%. These represent the typical menthol ranges in the U.$.
currently. There is a significant difference in the menthol
cooling perception between K00L and Newport, with Newport being
lower in menthol cooling sensation. For markets desiring to
introduce a menthol product where the current smoker dominance is
non-menthol, we recommend a =llght" loading of menthol. Examples
of "light" loadings would be:
• Full Flavor (14+ tar delivery) a level of 0.25 to 0.30%.
• Lts. (7-13 tar delivery) a level of 0.35 to 0.40%; eg.
• Ultra (3-6 tar delivery) a level of 0.45 to 0.50%.
"Light" menthol loadings are recommended since "high" menthol
loadings will usually be quickly rejected by non-menthol smokers.
Converting non-menthol smokers to menthol is not easy to
accomplish. It is, however made simpler if the product offers a
low level of menthol taste and cooling.
Regarding menthol loading, typically menthol is increased as car
decreases to maintain somewhat of a consistent menthol delivery.
A good example is KOOLKS and KOOLMILDS KS. As shown in Table 3,
the menthol loading is 0.10% greater in KOOLMILDS KS @ 12 mgs.
tar than KOOLKS @ 17 mgs. tar, yet both have the same menthol
delivery of 0.50 mgs. menthol/clg. The reason this is done is
mostly dictated by consumers; i.e., full taste smokers who move
down in tar still want.the same level of menthol cooling.
Page 10: 0000967595
For planning purposes, keep in mind the following information
recently learned in a menthol study performed by B&N. It showed
that i0 to 20% of U.S. menthol smokers can detect a relative
difference of +/- 10% in a cigarette's menthol level. For
example, at a level of 0.42% (llke KOOLKS) 10 to 20~ of regular
menthol smokers can detect a difference in menthol cooling if its
menthol content varies from 0.38 to 0.42% or 0.42 to 0.46%.
Therefore, for consumer testing, we recommend that the menthol
level be within +/- 5% of target before testing. However, for
normal production, this target is too stringent.
The type of blend used can also affect menthol delivery. This
occurs for two reasons. The first is that different blend
components have different affinities for menthol, and the second
reason is the blend components have different tar and nicotine
deliveries. This latter reason will be discussed in more d~r~ail
in the next section. The affinity tobacco has for menthol differs
by tobacco type. In this case, "affinity= denotes the activity/ of
absorption and desorption of menthol. The general rule is that
tobaccos which absorb menthol more rapidly also desorb menthol
more rapidly. The factor which controls this activity is the
leaf's surface struct~ure. For example, oriental and flue-cured
leaf have a reslnous/waxy leaf surface which acts to slow
absorption of menthol, and once absorbed it is slow to release
menthol. Burley tobacco, recon and stem, having less coating on
the surface absorb menthol much faster and also lose menthol more
rapidly. While this phenomenon occurs, it is mostly nullified by
the tar delivery potential of each blend type. For example, even
though flue-cured has a lower affinity for menthol than stem or
recon, it's menthol delivery will be greater due to flue-cured
tobacco having a greater tar and nlcotlne dellverypotential.
Cigarette tar & nicotine delivery
Ignoring for a minute a cigarette's design parts (filter, paper,
and ventilation) the tar and nicotine deliveries are a function of
the blend components used. It is also the tar and nicotine which
act as a major driving force for menthol delivery. A good example
demonstrating this point is the data in Table 3 for KOOLXLKS
(Japan) and Newport KS. Both products have a menthol content of
0.34% but KOOLXL delivers 9 m8. of tar and 0.24 m8. of menthol
while Newport delivers 17 mg. tar and 0.44 mg. menthol. The
menthol/tar delivery ratio is essentially the same for both
products, KOOLXL- 0.24/9 - 0.027 and Newport - 0.44/17 - 0.026.
This shows that there is close to a one-to-one reletlonship with
menthol delivery and tar delivery. Meaning that with~enthol
content held constant, the menthol delivery w~l increase
proportionally as ta~ increases or vlce/versa.~While no nicotine
data are included in Ithe table, the same relationship holds true
for nicotine and men~ol delivery