Facts about Tobacco Leaf

Published on August 24th, 2012 00:00

Tobacco goes through various processes before it becomes a cigarette, rolling tobacco, cigar or another smoking product, as for instance snus. Right after harvesting operation the tobacco leaves are cured. This process eliminates the humidity from them and plays an essential rile in allowing tobacco its distinctive flavor and taste. It also changes the color of the leaves from green to yellow or sometimes brown, as the contained chlorophyll gives out and the natural starches in tobacco crop turn to sugars.

tobacco leaf

Generally there are three main methods of drying and curing tobacco leaves, namely:

  • Air curing (Burley tobacco) – in unheated enclosed places;
  • Flue curing (Virginia tobacco) – in a storehouse heated by pipes;
  • Sun curing (Oriental tobacco) – here the tobacco leaves are kept to dry in the sun.

While drying process may look as something ordinary, the final result may assure an infinite variety, showing the weather and special substances in the soil during growing, individual artistry and examination, as well as the sort of drying process implied. Thus after curing, the tobacco leaves are sorted into different groups depending on the quality. This process is quite essential as leaves of various types and from different regions may be blended in order to create a unique tobacco brand. It is the same as with grapes used in wine making, while the quality and peculiarities can very with each particular harvest, consumer preferences, compatibility of taste, color and flavor. In fact, it can be said that cigarette manufacturer’s role can be even more complicated, as unlike wine or other products, consumers do not wait or wish any change from year to year.

Cured tobacco leaves are aged before directing to the manufacturing stage. Namely here the tobacco is cut and blended. After all undertaken stages, tobacco leaves are traded as a commodity all around the world. Each tobacco growing country is moving from traditional floors, where the price is set by auction, to contract based systems, where buyers sign contracts with individual growers to acquire their leaf. Probably one thing remains stable is the level of analysis demanded in buying the adequate amount of tobacco of the highest quality in order to respond consumer requirements.

Leaf-purchasing enterprises can be considered as a kind of link between farmers and tobacco product manufacturers as for instance Japan Tobacco. This means that besides buying directly on the auction floor, the tobacco giant is establishing farmer contracts in several countries, as Zambia, Malawi, United States and Brazil.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer.
Copyright © 2012 tobaccopub.net. All rights reserved.

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