In the manufacture of tobacco products, it is important to accurately monitor the entire process: from curing through aging to fermentation of the tobacco and the production and storage of the end products.
Before a cigar is made, the tobacco must be prepared to ensure it is fit for consumption. After harvesting, the tobacco leaves are tied in bundles known as gavillas in the casa de tabaco, and hung up to dry .
The drying process, serves to further ripen the tobacco leaves, and reduces the sugar and water content in them. This type of drying takes up to 60 days. During this time, the correct temperature and humidity is monitored. The subsequent fermentation serves to develop the aroma, and removes bitter and unpleasant substances from the leaves. The storage and ripening processes involved may take up to several years.
Equilibrium moisture is a key factor in the quality of a cigar. There are various methods of determining the equilibrium moisture of cigars. The Rotronic water activity probes work with digital AirChip 3000 HygroClip technology, which ensures their high performance and simple, digital adjustment and calibration.
HygroPalm HP23-AW is ideal for portable use offering the perfect solution for water activity measurement when on site. The attachment clamp grasps the bundle of tobacco with its holding jaws, and the HygroClip2 in the measuring chamber measures the equilibrium moisture of the tobacco quickly and accurately. The values for equilibrium moisture and temperature are transmitted digitally to the connected hand-held, the HygroPalm HP23-AW. A special measuring chamber, the “barrilito,” has been developed for measurement of equilibrium moisture in cigars. The cigars are placed in the “barrilito,” which is closed with a height-adjustable, airtight lid.
Measured equilibrium moisture can provide calculated water content data. Using a large number of empirical measurements, the technical staff of the “Instituto del Tabaco” in Havana have found an algorithm that describes a correlation between equilibrium moisture and water content. This makes it possible to switch the HygroPalm and the application optimized HygroClip probes between equilibrium moisture measurement and water content calculation.
The overall monitoring system comprises more than 400 sets of HF5 and HC2-S
The HF5 universal transmitters provides selectable analog outputs as well as digital outputs ensuring full network compatibility. Thanks to AirChip 3000, the HygroClip2 series HC2-S probe offers a unique and simple calibration and adjustment process. In addition, it offers the highest degree of reproducibility, and accuracy of <0.8%RH and 0.1K.
“The Rotronic HygroPalm is the perfect solution for quality control on site. A stand-alone measurement system that can be used freely and independent of mains.”
Jose M. Guardiola Pedrosa Tabacuba, Cuba
For more information on any of our products please visit our website at http://www.rotronic.com/en-gb