Flue-curing is a post harvest conditioning process which strongly affects the tobacco leaf chemistry, and consequently the chemical properties of tobacco smoke. Several studies identified the major changes in tobacco chemistry occurring during flue-curing. It is not known how flue-curing contributes to changes in bioactivity of cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). In this study, tobacco leaves collected throughout the twelve days of flue-curing were used to prepare cigarettes that were smoked to generate CSC samples. The assessment of mutagenicity was performed using the Bacterial Reverse Mutation / Ames test with Salmonella typhimurium TA98 in the presence of S9 metabolic activation. CSC from cured leaves were significantly more mutagenic than CSC from uncured leaves. The number of revertants was positively influenced by the duration of the curing. The effect of the duration of curing on the number of revertants was more pronounced with increasing CSC concentration.
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