Menthol     
     

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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Menthol is an organic compound made synthetically or obtained from peppermint or other mint oils.
  • It is a waxy, crystalline substance, clear or white in color, which is solid at room temperature and melts slightly above.
  • The main form of menthol occurring in nature is (-)-menthol, which is assigned the (1R,2S,5R) configuration.
  • Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritation.
  • In the natural compound, the isopropyl group is oriented trans- orientation to both the methyl and alcohol groups

Application

  • People smoke menthols because they like menthol or menthol taste which, to them, is mild and cool and, as such, provides a pleasant smoking experience without causing any unpleasant reactions in one’s mouth or throat.
  • Menthol has been applied to cigarettes as a cooling agent since the introduction of Spud.
  • This method of menthol application and delivery allows menthol to be used as a substitute for tar and nicotine in low-yield cigarettes.
  • A menthol blend with a moderate level of nicotine presents its menthol cooling mostly to the mouth, and little to the throat.

Process

  • Menthol is generally obtained by chilling mint oil and subsequent centrifuging to separate out the menthol crystals.
  • The process may be divided into two steps , firstly menthol flakes are produced by chilling mint oil and secondly menthol flakes mixed with mint oil again chilled to produce bold crystals of menthol.
  • The total recovery of menthol in the first step is around 70% . The time cycle for first step is around 6-7 days. I
  • n the second step, menthol flakes mixed with certain proportion of mint oil kept under temperature control for about 25 days.
  •  The mother liquor (conc. Mint oil ) is a bye product and can be used again till decolourisation of oil occurs. Total recovery of bold menthol crystals is about 50 % .
Market
  • The tobacco industry was openly and adeptly exploiting the segregated market to promote menthol brands, they also were dispersing money directly to Black community organizations and some civil rights organizations.
  • The campaign to hook the African American community on menthol cigarettes is one unfortunate indication of the success of the tobacco industry’s marketing acumen skillfully coupled with strategic and substantial largesse.
  • Mentholated cigarettes, mentholated cigar brands like Swisher Sweets are being pushed by the tobacco industry on the African American community.

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