TN 90 LC Tobacco
What are low converters? Tobacco plants produce many different alkaloids. Two of the most commonly produced alkaloids are nicotine and nornicotine, which are closely chemically related. During the curing and drying process, some nicotine chemically converts to nornicotine. The heat of combustion can then convert some of the nornicotine into TSNA's, or Tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines comprise one of the most important groups of carcinogens in tobacco products, particularly cigarettes and American style fermented dipping snuff.
Over the past several decades, selective breeding has reduced the nornicotine content in most modern day varieties to near zero in burley and dark tobacco types. With the goal of further reducing TNSA's, research is now focused on lowering the amount of nicotine which converts to nornicotine during the curing process. To qualify as a LC tobacco, the conversion rate must be 3% or lower.
The conversion rate of nicotine to nornicotine is controlled by particular genes in the plant, but is not consistent from plant to plant, and declines in successive generations. To be classified as an F1 generation LC tobacco, a leaf sample must be take from each plant during each growing season and it's conversion rate measure. Only seeds from plants with less than a 3% conversation rate can qualify as certified F1 generation LC seed.