The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Green Leaf Threshing
What is Green Leaf Threshing?
Green Leaf Threshing (GLT) is the most crucial stage of tobacco processing after the harvest. Raw tobacco of different grades goes through the threshing process in the factory. The process involves several stages such as:
- Blending: This entails mixing different tobacco leaves
- Separation: The separation of the lamina from the leaf bones called stem takes place at this stage. The tips and the upper portion of the leaf are cut and put separately. They mix with the threshed leaves at the end of the threshing stage.
- Threshing: The leaves then go through conditioning by adding hot air, steam, and water for threshing. Threshing and classification take place several times till different tobacco blends are formed.
- Re-drying: The threshed leaves and tips blend and dry together to maintain an optimum moisture level.
Top 5 mistakes to avoid in Green Leaf Threshing:
To make effective use of the GLT process and get the best blend of tobacco products, manufacturers pay great attention to the scrupulous process. The best threshed tobacco produces the best tobacco products. Here are some mistakes one must be careful about in the green leaf threshing process.
1. Failure to sort the leaves effectively:
The process begins by sorting and classifying the leaves to get different blends. Most manufacturers go about this process manually. They hire people to sort the leaves according to quality, grade, size, color, purpose, and other factors. Similarly, they also hand-pick unwanted foreign objects such as stones or damaged leaves. This is a very important stage as the quality of the tobacco experience depends on the effectiveness of the blend. However, there is always a chance of human error. To minimize that, manufacturers can opt for machine assistance. Suitable sorting tables can help sort the leaves optimally. Moreover, optical systems help detect tiny foreign objects that the naked eye may neglect.
2. Ignoring other elements in getting the optimum blend:
Conventionally green leaf threshing has always been about maintaining optimum moisture content and temperature before the product goes into packaging. However, getting the optimum blend consistently for the customers calls for a lot more than that. Manufacturers ought to pay due attention to these other elements as well. Nicotine and sugar levels, for example, are also important for the perfect blend. Manufacturers must monitor these levels in real-time to make timely interventions for a splendid finished product. Some customers are recognizing the importance of these parameters and specify to the manufacturers that they want a certain sugar and nicotine level in their tobacco product.
3. Choosing the equipment for moisture measurement without due consideration:
Green leaf threshing is all about turning raw tobacco into a premium quality final product with the perfect aroma and texture. Therefore, getting the right equipment is the foremost thing for any manufacturer. For example, the manufacturer must be very careful in choosing the right leaf process measurement solutions. Ideally, the non-contact equipment must be able to measure the moisture online. It must be able to withstand any environmental change in the process without diminishing the moisture content. The measurements must be accurate to 0.1% for improved productivity. Ideal equipment is customized according to the customer’s plant setup and specific needs.
4. Ignoring the safety standards during the Green Leaf Threshing process:
As the world is moving towards a sustainable environment, tobacco product manufacturers are under tremendous pressure to abide by social, health, and safety standards. Progressive tobacco manufacturers understand the difficulties workers go through during the green leaf threshing process and aim to minimize them. For instance, reducing the impact of noise, humidity, and dust during the process is among the top priorities of the manufacturers. Similarly, safety gear, equipment, and medical care for the employees are also a must. Such initiatives help boost the morale of the workforce, which in turn helps improve productivity.
5. Filling cartons incorrectly:
After the completion of the green leaf threshing process, the leaves go into cartons while they are still warm. Careful filling is very important at this stage so that the tobacco does not lose its freshness or aroma even in two years. They can do so by using a hydraulic plunger that compresses the leaves so powerfully that they fit about 300 kilograms of leaves in a single carton.
Cigarette manufacturers are very particular about the freshness of raw tobacco. Therefore, the green leaf threshing process must be flawless and efficient to deliver a consistently superior product.