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Tobacco Glossary

A type of drying process in which the leaves are “hung” in well-ventilated barns without the benefit of induced heat. Depending on the crop, the process may typically take between 4 – 12 weeks. Burley and Maryland are examples of tobacco cured in this manner
AMERICAN Most popular type of blended cigarette. See BLEND
Term used to identify the manner in which BURLEY is placed for sale. It is placed in a BALE that weighs approximately 800 – 900 lbs .
Regional designation denoting the area of origin of the tobacco. The BELT also impacts the various “types” within the BELT.
BEST BESTn.v. a Heverlee, Belgium manufacturer of Laser Sorters for removal of foreign matter from tobacco. See NTM
BERNAUER A Brazilian manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment. See DRYER
BLEND……. A mixture of different types and/or grades of tobacco combined to produce a desired product. Typically cigarette blends contain flue cured (bright) & burley in concentrations of approximately 15 – 80% with smaller concentrations of Oriental, reconstituted leaf (RC), and Maryland . The flue cured & burley provide the flavor (taste) while the Oriental is the aromatic source and the Maryland leaf is noted for the “free-burning” quality it provides. Reconstituted leaf is produced by mixing tobacco dust, stem, scrap, and other leaf by-products. Then using a paper process reducing the materials into a slurry then rebuilding the product into a sheet (paper) product. This product is then cut to resemble tobacco leaf & added in specified proportion(s) to certain brand blends.
BLENDED LEAF… See Reconstituted Leaf as defined above.
BLENDED STRIPS Blend ready for cutting
BODY……… Thickness/density of the leaf
BRIGHT……… Tobacco typically grown in the area between northern Florida & central Virginia and in numerous other countries around the world. It is cured by artificially applying heat to the leaves while they are hung in a “barn.” This process is closely monitored as either under or over curing greatly impacts the price the farmer will receive at market or by contract It is also called FLUE CURED & VIRGINIA tobacco. Typically the color range is lemon/golden yellow to orange/red in color when cured. It is typically a medium bodied tobacco
BULK BLENDED STRIPS blend of various grades and cultivars.
BULK SILO…… A large capacity bin for the temporary storage of tobacco to allow the moisture and or casing to equilibrate.
BURLEY…….. Tobacco typically grown in Kentucky , Tennessee , western areas of North Carolina & Virginia as well as parts of Missouri . It is cured in the AIR CURED manner as described under that heading. Typically the color range is red to brown when cured. It is typically a light bodied tobacco. It is sold in BALES.
BUYING STATION Location to which farmers take their CURED LEAF sold under contract to a specific LEAF MERCHANT or MANUFACTURER. It is then moved to a PROCESSING plant.
CARDWELL The Cardwell Machine Company of Richmond , VA. A manufacturer of tobacco equipment for the industry from 1829-2000. The company ceased operation in December 2000. Cardwell was an industry innovator for many processing solutions.
CRS ……… Cut Rolled Stem A stem that has been cased/rolled/cut and placed into the BLEND.
CASE ……… Old industry term used to describe the moisture condition of tobacco. Also known as ORDER
CASING …….. A mixture of flavorings & other humectants applied to tobacco to provide certain “taste’ to the product. It also serves to assist in preventing breakage/degradation as well as assist in cutting.
CLEAN STEM Stem with all LAMINA removed COMAS An Italian manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment.
CONDITIONING… Process by which the tobacco moisture content is raised by the introduction of steam/water. The purpose of CONDITIONING is to allow the tobacco to become pliable for THRESHING. This process is typically done in a Cylinder but new technologies are providing alternate methods. This is also known as “ORDERING”
COOLING DRUM Term used to describe a cylinder that removes heat (cools) processed dried tobacco via airflow. a.k.a. COOLING CYLINDER
COUNTERFLOW A dual pass pneumatic separator used in THRESHING. Originally manufactured by MACTAVISH under license.
CURED LEAF Term used to describe tobacco after it has been through the CURING process.
CUT FILLER….. Blended, cased/flavored, & cut tobacco ready to be sent to Making Machine. Also known as FILLER or CUT RAG.
CYLINDER …… Rotating drum used to blend, condition, case, dry tobacco. Typically an Ordering Cylinder is 4X the diameter and the down slope is 4 – 5 degrees. This allows for desired swell time to achieve proper application. Other type cylinders may have different fabrication parameters.
DIET Dry Ice Expanded Tobacco. A process using Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to expand the product to produce greater filling power.
DTMS See Dryer Traverse Measurement System
DARK-FIRED A type of curing process involving open fire(s) in a ventilated barn. This process is used on Burley Tobacco and produces a product that is typically medium to dark brown in color, medium to heavy in body, and strong in flavor.
Usage is in chewing & snuff products.
DOFFER Device located within a process line to assist in flow control. Typically providing a combing/picking motion to either retard/refuse excess product on the bed depth or to measure flow at the discharge of a FEEDER. Depending on the product and the user company, doffer design varies.
DOWNSTALK Lower stalk position tobacco consisting of typically the bottom (4) leaves, is thin bodied, and contains sand/dirt on the leaf in greater proportion than higher stalk leaf.
DRINK QUALITY Ability of leaf to absorb moisture, casings, & flavorings. See OPEN GRAINED
DRYER Process equipment used to remove moisture from tobacco. The most common types are cylinder and apron. Both types are typically large in size and require a lengthy dwell time to achieve desired results. ADT, DICKINSON/LEGG, HAUNI are the names most commonly know for “cylinder” style units with AEROGLIDE/SARGENT, BERNAUER, FEC, GARBUIO, PROCTOR & CHWARTZ (P&S), closely associated with “apron” style units which are continuous belt, hot air drying & REORDERING machines used to set BURLEY spray onto strip.
DRYER TRAVERSE Designed by INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY INC (INSYSTEC) MEASUREMENT of Chester , VA. A “Patent Pending” system measuring real time manufacturing
SYSTEM parameters inside the cooling section of an apron dryer. The system uses IR technolgy via a remote fiber optic head to measure product moisture, NIR technology to measure temperature and laser technology to measure product depth as continuously measures them at customer determined points across the entire apron width. Information is then displayed on a remote HMI using graphs and charts to display both current information and archive data for trending bar charts. The system allows the customer to achieve tighter manufacturing control of the trended data thereby reducing cost and manufacturing a more consistent product. See also DTMS, INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS
DUST Very small particles of tobacco created during the processing of the product and caused by the breakage of the leaf as it moves through the multiple stages of process. Depending on the product and the company, dust particle size typically begins by passing through at least a 32 mesh or finer screen. It may then be used in a reconstituted leaf product or as a dry snuff product. Dust was once a large by-product of the industry and given away as an excellent fertilizer.
ELASTICITY The ability of leaf to be stretched without breaking. The moisture content of the
leaf is the main factor in determining this state.
ENGLISH BLEND Type of cigarette blend using BRIGHT tobacco almost exclusively.
EQUILIBRIUM Desired state of tobacco in various stages of the process as it is temporarily stored in large bulk silos and is typically said to be 75o F @ 60% RH
EXPANDED STEM A term used to describe stem that has been “expanded” by a process to provide greater filling power.
EXPANDED A term used to describe tobacco that has been “expanded” by a process to TOBACCO provide greater filling power.
FALSE ORDER Condition caused by tobacco being at a higher temperature thus giving an appearance of higher moisture content
FATTY STEM Pliable stem not properly dried during curing & subject to easy molding
FEEDER Device used to measure/monitor a set flow rate of tobacco in the process line and typically consisting of a silo (reservoir) to hold product and a doffer style discharge to meter to outflow. a.k.a. FEED REGULATOR, REGULATING
FINES Small particles of tobacco caused by movement through the process line.
Depending on the processor/manufacturer FINES & DUST may be interchangeable terms.
FLAG Stem with lamina (leaf) attached after it has been threshed.
FLUIDIZED Term used to describe gentle movement using forced air and vibration to move product while also performing other operations such as cooling, drying, heating, and moistening.
FLYINGS Lowest leaves on both the BRIGHT & BURLEY stalk & typically the thinnest
leaves but also having the highest filling power.
FREEZE DRIED Term applied to a process where the tobacco has been wetted with H2O, frozen & dried in a vacuum chamber with the desired effect of expanding the tobacco to create greater filling power
FUNKY Rapidly molding leaf GLT Green Leaf Threshing is the process of THRESHING before REDRYING
GARBUIO An Italian manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment. See DRYER
GRADE One of many designations applied to sorted cured leaves to describe color, stalk position, quality, body. The USDA uses “graders” to place a government GRADE on each sheet or basket sold in warehouse sales. This GRADE is the determining factor in setting the support price. Once purchased by a leaf merchant or manufacturer, the leaf is then placed into one of that company’s appropriate grade designations for threshing/storage.
GRIFFIN A Louisville , KY. based manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment.
GREEN WEIGHT Tobacco weight prior to REDRYING
HSS A type of pneumatic separator developed by Dimon, Inc. & licensed to Tanner Tool & Machine Inc. (see TANNER) Uses high speed inclined belt to introduce tobacco into the separating chamber and eliminates need for an inlet winnower. The high speed inclined belt can be retro fitted to most types of pneumatic separators HAND Name given to a “bunch” of cured quality sorted leaves and tied at the stem
(butt) end with another leaf. There are several “tales” to indicate what determined the size of the hand.
HAUNI A German manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment. See DRYER
HOGSHEAD Large round wooden barrel used to store/age tobacco. Depending on the grade/type of tobacco, the weight will typically range between 800 – 1000 lbs .
Hogsheads are becoming a less prevalent method of storage as the shape requires more space than a similarly weighted “cube” In earlier years, hogsheads were made individually by “coopers” making the staves and nailing the heads in place. The modern reusable hogshead consist of (2) sections (mats) that are “pinned” together & (2) heads..
HOT TOBACCO Leaf with too much moisture that is rapidly fermenting
HYGROSCOPIC Humectants such as glycerin, propylene glycol, syrup, etc. added to tobacco to AGENT assist in the retention of moisture
INNOVATIVE A Chester , VA. based company trading as INSYSTEC providing new solutions SYSTEMS to customer needs in process control, measurement, and quality control TECHNOLOGY employing tailored cutting edge methods to enhance quality, cost, and efficiency INC Designer & developer of the Patent Pending DTMS. See also DRYER TRAVERSE MEASUREMENT SYSTEM INSYSTEC See INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY INC.
LAMINA The tobacco lying between the stem & veins of a leaf. This is the product separated during THRESHING. Lamina is removed as a “light” while the heavier stem is dropped to the next stage of THRESHING until all lamina is removed leaving only CLEAN STEM
LASER SORTER A type of NTM removal system using Laser technology to determine the difference between acceptable and non-acceptable product as it moves through various stages of the production process. Laser sorters use red, blue, green, & combinations thereof to scan product and evaluate it based on signals from the
reflected & diffused lasers compared & evaluated against predetermined customer parameters.
LATAKIA Sun-Cured Syrian tobacco known for a very pungent aroma LEAF As it refers to stalk position of middle to upper leaves. Thicker bodied than the DOWNSTALK/FLYINGS leaves.
LEAF MERCHANT Company that buys tobacco on behalf of a specific customer(s) under contract and then typically provides PROCESSING of the leaf. LEAF MERCHANTS also speculate and buy tobacco for their own stock to be sold later to additional customers. The (3) major U.S. companies in this business are Universal Leaf Tobacco Corp, Dimon, and Standard Commercial.
LEMON Bright to brilliant yellow leaf that typically has been too quickly cured LOOSENING Separation of pressed leaves that have been conditioned LUGS Leaves on the lower quarter of a Bright or Burley stalk. a.k.a. CUTTER on a BURLEY stalk. As noted in DOWNSTALK & FLYINGS the leaves have high
filling power.
MACTAVISH A Richmond, VA. based manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment.
MAHOGANY Deep orange-brown leaf indicating good ripeness
MAKE/PACK Final stage of cigarette manufacture when the processed tobacco is made into individual cigarettes and placed into packs, cartons, containers for shipment.
MANUFACTURER Company whose business is making a finished product from PROCESSED
tobacco. These products include cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and moist/dry snuff.
MANIPULATION Term applied to ORIENTAL leaf in regards to sorting, cleaning, fermentation & packing. a.k.a. ORIENTAL MANIPULATION
MARYLAND Light AIR CURED tobacco, grown in the state of Maryland . Similar in type to BURLEY but milder. It is a very small percentage of the BLEND. One of its main properties is its “free burning” ability.
MIDRIB The center STEM of a tobacco leaf. It is a thick coarse objectionable product that is removed during THRESHING
MULTI-SEP A modular single pass pneumatic separator used in THRESHING. Originally manufactured by MACTAVISH/EVANS under license/ MOISTURE See EQUILIBRIUM CONTENT
NTM/NTRM Non Tobacco Related Material is the name given to both naturally occurring and induced foreign matter found in tobacco. As tobacco is an agricultural product, certain materials naturally appear in the product and may consist of insects, insect webs, grass, straw, feathers, horsehair, etc. Induced foreign material may
consist of such items as barn foam, string, burlap, paper, wood, candy wrappers, etc. Modern technology using lasers and high-speed cameras is used to efficiently remove these items from the product in both the THRESHING & PRIMARY stages. Also known as FOREIGN MATTER NESTING Intentionally placing NTM in tobacco sold at auction or at contract stations for the purpose of increasing sale weight.
A term used in connection with action within the separation chamber of a pneumatic separator as it applies to leaf becoming entangled & floating without either dropping out as a heavy or exiting as a light. a.k.a. BIRD NEST
NICOTINE A colorless to pale yellow liquid alkaloid (C10H14N2) naturally occurring in tobacco.
OBJ Term used to describe Objectionable Stem percentage in the final THRESHED product.
O.V. OVEN VOLATILES are the volatiles in tobacco that are evolved by placement in a forced draft oven for 3 hours @ 100oC
OFF SHORE Tobacco grown outside of a country. (Ex. Any tobacco imported into the U.S. is OFF SHORE tobacco)
OLD CROP Leaf grown in any year prior to the current year. Typically farmers sometimes “hold out” product and sell it the next season. This is referred to as OLD CROP
OPEN GRAINED A leaf characteristic referring to the ability to absorb volumes of H2O, casing, etc. See also DRINK QUALITY
ORANGE Rich, ripe yellow leaf
ORIENTAL A class of tobacco grown in the Mediterranean & Baltic countries. It is both aromatic & flavorful. It is a small leaf that is air/sun dried and hung on string to cure. a.k.a. TURKISH
P&S PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ a Merrimac, MA. based manufacturer of various
types of DRYERS PAPIROSSI A type of cigarette popular in Eastern Europe that passes smoke through a
hollow tube. This requires hard constant puffing to keep the cigarette lit.
PERIQUE Tobacco type grown exclusively in St. James Parish, LA., noted for its aroma in Pipe blends.
PIEDMONT A Louisa, VA. based manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment.
PRIMARY Term used to describe the tobacco process after THRESHING but before MAKE/PACK or SECONDARY
PRIMING Farm term used to describe removing ripe leaves from the stalk.
PRIMINGS The first ripe leaves on the lower stalk.
PRIZE Term used to describe packing tobacco into a container using hydraulic pressure to compact the product. Typically the container will weigh from 750 – 1000 lbs .
PRIZERY Location used to PRIZE tobacco.
PROCESSING Term used to describe the various stages of taking the CURED LEAF through THRESHING, REDRY&ING, BLENDING. See also STEMMERY PUFFED See EXPANDED TOBACCO
QCDS Quality Control Degradation Shaker is a piece of lab equipment used to determine particle size of strip tobacco during the THRESHINNG operation.
Standard size screens are 1” , ½”, ¼”, 1/8”
QCST Quality Control Stem Tester is a piece of lab equipment used to determine the stem content of strip tobacco during the THRESHING operation.
RPL A single pass pneumatic separator used in THRESHING. Originally manufactured by CARDWELL under license.
RECONSTITUTED Tobacco by-products, dust, scrap, stem, finely ground and mixed in one of several processes to produce a sheet paper product. See BLEND RED LEAF Near top leaves of BURLEY
REDRYING Process of preparing strip tobacco for AGEING. The process involves removing moisture in a DRYER and then adding moisture back to a set percentage for storage. Normal storage moisture is 12 – 13%.
REJECT DUST Sand & other foreign matter removed during the processing operation. This product is both expensive and totally useless.
RE-WEIGHT Weight of tobacco received at the PROCESSING plant versus the weight recorded at the WAREHOUSE.
ROASTING Removing moisture from cut tobacco by drying. Typically done in a cylinder type DRYER,
SEPARATOR Term generally used to describe one of the many types of large pneumatic\ separators used in THRESHING. COUNTERFLOW, MULTI-SEP, SWAN, & RPL are some of the more commonly used. Standard widths range from 36” to 144.”
SHAKER Term used to describe a vibratory conveyor as part of the material handling process in both THRESHING & PRIMARY SHEET 8’ x 8’ burlap square on which BRIGHT tobacco is placed for auction.
Typically the weight of the tobacco within the sheet is 200 lb . maximum SHEET TOBACCO See RECONSTITUTED SILO See BULK SILO STEM See MIDRIB STEMMING See THRESHING
STEMMERY Location where STEMMING/PROCESSSING takes place STRING NTM found in tobacco and typically introduced by way of TURKISH tobacco or other tied leaf manner.
SUN CURED Curing process in which the leaf is allowed to dry (cure) using natural sun light. Depending on the prevailing weather conditions, the process may take 3 – 5 weeks.
SWAN Type of single pass pneumatic separator used in THRESHING. Originally manufactured by GRIFFIN under license.
SWECO Term used to describe a SHAKER using sieve screens to remove fine particles in THRESHING or PRIMARY. Sweco is also the name of the manufacturing company located in Florence , KY.
TANNER Tanner Tool & Machine Inc. A Crewe , VA. based manufacturer of tobacco processing equipment.
THIEF Term used to describe both a core sample & the instrument used to gather the core sample from a pressed container of tobacco.
THRESHED Termed used to describe tobacco that has been through THRESHING.
THRESHER A high-speed machine used to strip LAMINA from MIDRIM./ STEM. It is composed of a series of steel plates with metal teeth spaced at specified widths across the face revolving between 300 – 650 rpm. The action of the teeth against the bottom basket & fixed door teeth strip away the LAMINA. Typical widths range between 36” to 144.”
THRESHING Term used to describe the process of removing MIDRIM / STEM from the LAMINA. Depending on the volume of tobacco processed per linear inch of THRESHER width will determine if it is considered to be Hard or Soft
Threshing. Hard is considered to be a linear loading of > 50 lb ./in & Soft is linear loading of < 50 lb ./in.
TIPS Top most leaves on the stalk. On BURLEY it is very top leaves & BRIGHT it is the next to top leaves.
TIPPING Term used to describe the process of removing the top portion of the BURLEY
leaf not containing OBJ stem. Tipped leaf does not go through the THRESHING process. Typically it is the top 1/3 of the leaf. The process is very labor intensive and time consuming in addition to requiring special
TOASTING Process of heating BURLEY with CASING to high temperatures >300oF with the purpose of caramelizing & sealing the sugars in the leaf. This process was popularized by the Lucky Strike advertisement “It’s Toasted”
TOP DRESSING Aromatic flavors applied to cut tobacco after final drying. a.k.a. TOP FLAVOR TRASH Low leaves on the BURLEY plant below the LUGS TURKISH See ORIENTAL UPSTALK Opposite of DOWNSTALK
VACUUM Large piece of equipment used in THRESHING plant to initially remove then CHAMBER add back moisture (CONDITION) tobacco to a set percentage. Tobacco is introduced to the chamber in a PRIZED state either in BALES or HOGSHEADS.
VEINS Offshoot smaller stems off the MIDRIB.
WAREHOUSE Term used describe a facility to which farmers carry their CURED LEAF to be sold at open auction to leaf merchants or manufacturers. The warehouse system is being replaced by BUYING STATIONS in the U.S.
WET TAIL Tip leaves with high moisture content
WINNOWER(S) Term used to primarily denote stem that is removed by the making machine. The stem particles tend to create holes in the tobacco rod & choke the maker as the rod moves through the garniture section of the machine. Also a term describing the (4) or (6) bladed airlock that assist in moving tobacco in the
THRESHING process.
YIELD Term used to describe weight difference between the tobacco entering THRESHING line and the final product exiting the line as it regards to ratio of LAMINA to MIDRIB and the loss percentage due to DUST, NTM, and other unusable product items.