Background: The acid extraction and enzymatic hydrolysis of starch followed by ion chromatography
analysis are the tobacco industry standard methods in China which are very timeconsuming,
troublesome, and moreover, there has no structure information of starch. This paper aims to
develop an overall method for rapid extraction and simultaneous analysis of the content and structure of
starch from flue-cured tobacco leaves by 13C CP/MAS NMR.
Methods: The starch from flue-cured tobacco was extracted using pH=10 NaOH solution with the ratio
of liquid to solid 30:1 for 90 min and analyzed on the basis of solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy. Its
crystalline characteristics, relative crystallinity, proportion of double helices and content were estimated
by peak fitting analysis of C-1, C-2,3,5, C-4 and C-6 regions of the spectra.
Results: It was found that tobacco starch was B-type crystallinity and had the lowest double helix content
and relative crystallinity compared with maize, sweet potato and lotus root starches. The quantitative
result of internal standard method showed that the average recovery was 93.0% with the RSD of
Conclusion: This rapid and accurate NMR method could provide important information about both
amount and structure of starch in tobacco.