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Tobacco sugar/pH article

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Kiowapipe, Jan 25, 2012.

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  1. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    Here's an interesting article on the relationship between sugar content and smoke pH:

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ycz17a00/pdf

    This sort of confirms things I'd heard before about why burleys tend to pack more of a nic-punch than VAs- Nicotine is more available to the body in an alkaline smoke, and the sugars in VA leaf tend to keep the smoke more acidic.
    I'm still not sure, though, how to reconcile this with anecdotal stuff I've heard about tongue-bite. I've heard people say alkaline smoke can cause bite, but that wouldn't jibe with this- burleys tend to be more alkaline than VAs but they also seem to bite less.
     
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  2. Pecci

    Pecci Active Member

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    That was a tuf read ... physically! It made my eyes spin. :startl:

    Great topic though, and I'll be interested in what other have to say here.
     
  3. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    Thanks for the link Kiowa!
     
  4. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    Thanks for the link -
     
  5. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoe Active Member

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    That made my brain hurt, time for a smoke...
     
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  6. user2428

    user2428 Active Member

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    Well too much pH in either direction causes protein break down and cell wall destruction (irritation). I.e. extremely alkaline bleach damages your skin when handled bare handed and the same goes for battery acid. Saliva has a pH of 6.0-7.4 so any spike in either direction creates a state of irritation. We "spike" when we place acid or alkaline smoke directly against our tongues.
     
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  7. UberHuberMan

    UberHuberMan Member

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    That was definitely interesting. I only made it through the first page, though...
     
  8. birdog

    birdog Member

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    Basically the article says, higher sugar in tobacco, lower ph....more acidic.
    so, this could explain tongue bite, from a ph perspective. If your tobacco and pipe smoke cool, but still bite, perhaps the ph of the smoke is too far from the normal ph inside your mouth? Either alkaline or acidic.
    make sense? and since everyone's body chemistry is different, this could explain why certain blends affect people differently....maybe it is all PH related.
    my two cents,
    Terry
     
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  9. Gatogordo

    Gatogordo Member

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    ooooo ahhhhh.... Chemistry with my morning pipe! A variable unconsidered is the curing of the tobacco. Less cured (and also higher nicotine)= higher alkaline ammonia in the smoke. A lot of factors affect smoke pH and pH is not the only potential irritant.

    Wines have a pH of 2.8 - 3.8. We are accustomed to acidic foods such as apples (3.3 - 3.9) and plums (2.8 - 3). (And no, I don't know what figs are. I know your baccy smells like figs. Stop saying figs.)
    Yet there are few, if any alkaline foods; they would be bitter. (remember eating soap?) Nicotine is alkaline, so lacking co-produced acids, would taste awful.

    I posit that acidic pH is a red herring (6.1, btw). Formaldehyde and other pyrogens are more likely to be irritants and change with the leaf, the blend and degree of cure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  10. birdog

    birdog Member

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    got it Gatogordo....so lot's more variables that could affect things.......might as well forget about it, and just make sure the moisture content is good and try em out!
     
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  11. Gatogordo

    Gatogordo Member

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    Exactly. Add to that burning temperature, oxygen supply (puffing rate), condensates on the leaf (progress since lighting), product casings and toppings, mineral content (ash).... rocket science is easier.
     
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  12. MakDragon

    MakDragon Illegitimi non carborundum

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    So if we pair a drink with our tobacco that is opposite of the pH of the tobacco, then we can smoke and drink all night with no tongue bite.
    Just sayin'
     
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