The solar dryer presented in the pictures is recommended but the Polycarbonate sheet used should be UV product (if the plastic is black, beware of temperature increases and be sure it does not go above 55°C). The air intake should be filtered to keep out dust.
Spread the leaves thinly on mesh and dry in the dryer for about 4 hours (Temperature range is 20°C to 70°C on a very sunny day). The final product should be very brittle. We recommend solar drying for both small and large scale processing, particularly for those in rural communities where there is no electricity. Loading density should not exceed 2 kg/m2.
Use electric or gas hot-air dryers. Drying temperatures should range between 50°C and 55°C. If temperature exceeds 55°C, leaves will “burn” and turn brown. Leaves should be dried until their moisture content is below 10%. We recommend this method for large scale leaf processing as 80 this ensures year round production. Loading density should not exceed 2.5 kg/m2 .