FIue-cured tobacco damaged by species of Aspergillus from commerciaI and experimental sources was shredded and made into cigarettes. Paired samples of nondamaged tobaccos served as controls. Subsamples of cigarettes were analysed for viable fungal propagules/g, 39 organic and inorganic compounds in the smoke and smoke condensates, and taste preference. PrincipaI fungi associated with leaves and shreds of mold-damaged tobacco were Aspergillus repens, A. ruber, and A. niger. Except for the originaI differences in the nicotine content and in the tar, there were no significant differences in total particulate matter nor in the amount of specific vapour phase components measured in the smoke from cigarettes made with mold-damaged and nondamaged tobaccos. Smoke panelists distinguished between cigarettes made with mold-damaged and nondamaged tobaccos and preferred cigarettes made with the latter. Viable fungus spores passed through the tobacco cylinder from lighted and nonlighted cigarettes. These data suggest the use of mold-damaged tobacco in cigarette manufacturing is to be avoided because of off-flavours and because the fungi isolated are common allergens to the respiratory tract of humans
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