Great Moments in Product History: The Birth of Reconstituted Tobacco

From N. Tilley’s “The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company“, pg 492-3:

Between 24 June and 5 August 1946, Kapp, Holland, and Jones worked out the basic produced for making sheets of reconstituted tobacco for use in cigarettes. It involved the extraction of tobacco flavoring derived from water, stems, and scrap. To form the sheet of tobacco fibrous materials, stems were pulped and used with fines (unusually small pieces of scrap). After it was pressed, dried, and tested, tobacco extract was sprayed on the sheet.

In view of the different burning qualities of stems and leaf, the conversion of stems, fragmented leaf, and tobacco dust into strips of even and excellent quality represented a significant accomplishment. On 13 July 1949, Reynolds management approved to construction of a plant to produce 10,000 pounds of reconstituted leaf per day.

I’m also reminded of the name they use for Velveeta-like cheeses, ‘processed cheeses‘.

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