Drying of aromatic and medicinal plants is one of the main subjects of the seminars that Agricultural University of Athens organises in the area of Thessaly, Greece. We are very happy that the agriculturalist of OROS team was one of the main speakers!
Konstantinos Gakis has been cultivating organic aromatic plants for more than ten years. That important cultivation experience together with his research and scientific background make him a specialist on aromatic plants production issues.
Drying of aromatic plants
Drying, as he stated, is the most critical process in the production of dried aromatic plants. Its purpose is to reduce the moisture contect of the herbs to a level that it :
- prevents the growth of micro-organisms
- prevents the product from alteration
- allows the product to be stored in stable conditions.
Treatment during and after harvest
Harvest process is equally important. Besides the appropriate harvest time, each farmer should pay particular attention to the harvest method he uses, whether it is manual or mechanical.
The transportation of the product after harvest is also a very important factor that can affect its quality. The harvested raw material must arrive immediately to process premises. Every container used should be clean and free of contamination.
He also made extensive reference to the different drying methods, the most widespread of which are exposure to :
- warm air – dryer.
Proper storage of the products after drying also helps maintain their quality. Storing dried aromatic plants under bad conditions degrades significantly their quality.
The level of moisture in the plant material that is to be stored should be lower than 10%. Warehouses should be dry and have control temperature equipment.
During his lecture, he emphasized the importance of proper drying and plant treatment processes after harvest as they help guarantee the quality of aromatic plants.