Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why Shade or Sun Drying Methods Are Not Effective Methods for Drying Moringa Leaves.

This question comes up a lot in emails. It is one of the most important questions you can ask.  Often a company will not tell you.  Most companies shade dry their product. This is why our product is not sun or shade dried. You need to know how your product is prepared.  This information can be researched in the book, 21st Century Greens: Leaf Vegetables in Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture

 The author is an expert on how to dry herbs and plants to retain the most nutritional value.

Traditional Sun Drying Method Problems
There are many problems when Moringa leaves are sun dried. Chlorophyll is reduced in the process. Sun drying  destroys Vitamin A and Vitamin C levels.  Folic Acid, B1, B2 are among the nutrients lost by sun drying. That is just fact.

If it is not dried in a clean place safe from flies, gnats, bugs, and have contamination again by these elements.

 It your Moringa powder brown? It should be green.

Shade Drying Method Problems:

Shade drying takes place over a week to 10 days.

Unless the shade drying area is in a clean, enclosed building, this process may subject the leaves to bugs, rodents, animals, dust, and disease.

Even in shade drying, there is enough sunlight to destroy some Vitamin A in the leaves.

The drying over days subjects the leaves to mold, mildew, bacteria, and salmonella.  Read about is on page 85 of his book.

Unless the shelves it is dried on are properly cleaned and disinfected, each shipment could contaminate the next batch of leaves.

Shade drying offers many problems and is not the healthiest way to dry herbs or Moringa leaves.

What is the best way to dry Moringa leaves to preserve their nutrients?

In his book, he states drying should take place in a special solar oven, oven in a clean facility or house, or dehydrator under low temperatures ( less than 130 degrees) and over a short time of several hours not days.
Excessive heat will also kill the nutrients in the powder. Page 84 in his book. I have read this elsewhere as well.

The cleanliness of the oven is extremely important for the quality of the product. How the oven is cleaned, by what method, is one important factor.

Chemicals to clean the oven can end up in the product.

Most of the India companies have told me they shade dry their product. This buildings often are open and dirty.  

Many of the companies do not have commerical equipment and methods for washing and drying the product. 

You need to have clean conditions for holding the plant material, storing the plant material, and while drying and packaging the Moringa Leaves.  That is why most companies gamma irradiate the product before sale.

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here


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