The Effects of Pre-harvest Quercetin on the Accumulation of Tobacco-specific Nitrosamines

Grants and Contracts Details


The Council for Burley Tobacco funded this project in 2015; we are applying for a second year of funding because we would like to repeat it in 2016 so that we have two years of data. The 2015 crop is currently curing, so we do not yet have any data. An interim report was submitted in October. The goal of this study is to test whether spraying burley tobacco with the naturally occurring flavonoid quercetin leads to a reduction of tobacco-specific nitrosamine (TSNA) levels. Quercetin recently became a major focus of attention because of its reported health benefits, many of which are attributed to its antioxidant properties. Quercetin also has antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral activity. Since both an increase in antioxidant capacity of tobacco prior to curing and a decrease in the plant-associated microbial population have been proposed as strategies to reduce TSNA accumulation, we hypothesize that a quercetin spray will reduce TSNA accumulation. If we can find an effective spray treatment, this will be the cheapest, simplest and most reliable way to reduce TSNAs.
Effective start/end date2/1/163/31/17


  • Council for Burley Tobacco: $3,000.00


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