Whole Leaf Tobacco

Changes in moisture and chemical composition of flue-cured tobacco during curing

Knucklehead

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"The present study represents a portion of an effort to develop mathematical models for predicting changes in
moisture and chemical composition of flue-cured tobacco during curing. In two experiments, concentrations of
chlorophyll, starch, reducing sugars, and total alkaloids (as well as moisture contents) were measured. In the first
experiment, tobacco was yellowed at temperatures of 30°C, 35°C, and 40°C with 3.33°C wet-bulb depression. In the
second experiment, tobacco was yellowed at 35°C with wet-bulb depressions of 1.67° C, 3.33°C, and 5°C (or
approximately 89, 81, and 70% relative humidity, respectively). In general, concentrations of chlorophyll and
starch in the leaves decreased during curing, whereas concentrations of reducing sugars increased, and total
alkaloids remained relatively unchanged. Yellowing temperature had no significant effect on moisture content at
the end of the yellowing and leaf drying stages, nor on chlorophyll at the end of the yellowing stage and starch at
the end of the cure. Starch tended to degrade faster at higher yellowing temperatures. Reducing sugar
concentration at the end of the cure was significantly affected by yellowing temperature with the highest
temperature resulting in the lowest reducing sugar concentration. Total alkaloid concentration was not affected
by yellowing temperature. Yellowing wet-bulb depression had a significant effect on moisture content at the end of the
yellowing stage, where the highest wet-bulb depression gave the lowest moisture content. On the other hand,
concentrations of chlorophyll, starch, reducing sugars, and total alkaloids were not affected by wet-bulb depression."
The Tobacco Science Journal
 
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