In classical Greek, oregano means “mountain adornment,” Indeed, the desiccated herb embellishes many age-old recipes. Traditionally, the fragrant leaves were collected and left to air dry in a shaded area. But that method leaves the plants exposed to open field risks such as pest attacks. Today, dried oregano processing equipment creates a hygienic environment that allows the plant to release moisture faster while retaining more natural compounds.
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Cut the stems into uniform lengths for easier processing
The oregano plant is harvested during the flowering stage, and fresh material is processed quickly to preserve as many biochemicals as possible.
Pass the stalks through a vibrating sieve to clean the plants from stones or soil. Then wash away sediments, insects, or other plant material with water. Your oregano stems are now ready to be chopped into equal lengths.
Select dried oregano processing equipment based on temperature control
One of the main challenges of dried oregano processing equipment is to retain the herb’s essential oils. High temperatures make the drying process faster but degrade the delicate plant.
Microwave technology raises the temperature uniformly without subjecting the product to long heating periods. Continuous microwave-convective air drying is the fastest technique, but it results in poor essential oil retention. Intermittent microwave-convective air drying at a 5.0 pulse ratio keeps the same essential oil content as air drying at a fraction of the time.
Cryogenic grinding preserves volatile oils during milling
Particle size distribution is critical to herbs and spices in general. Once dried, oregano is milled to obtain an even particle reduction. But grinding equipment such as ball mills or hammer mills ramps up temperatures during operation, allowing volatile oils to escape from the material.
Cryogrinding techniques protect the volatile compound content and lock in the natural color and aroma of the plant. In addition, milling with chilled air or water circulation produces a uniform particle size distribution and prevents the clogging of the equipment.
Use microwave technology to extract natural compounds from oregano
Oregano is rich in rosmarinic acid, a polyphenol with anti-inflammatory properties. This compound is used to treat several ailments, from indigestion to asthma.
Rosmarinic acid has traditionally been extracted from oregano through maceration, but microwave-assisted extraction provides a more environmentally sustainable alternative. The technique requires a shorter energy discharge to heat the plant material. This means that the unstable biochemicals in the oregano leaves endure less heat pressure.