Air-cured tobacco is sheltered from wind and sun in a well-ventilated chamber, where it air-dries for six to eight weeks. Air-cured tobacco is low in sugar, which gives the tobacco smoke a light, sweet flavor, and high in nicotine.
Cigar tobacco and burley tobaccos are air cured.
- In air curing the source of energy is the atmospheric temperature carried through air.
- The leaves are spread in the shade either in a barn or in a shed for curing.
- A proper regulation of atmospheric temperature, oxygen and humidity results in a better quality cure.
- There are two stages of air curing:
- Yellowing of leaves
- Development of brown colour.
- As such this method has very little value for curing a high grade tobacco as the leaves give up their moisture slowly and turn finally to a brown colour.
- The methods adopted for curing differ from place to place as explained below
- Air-curing is commonly adopted in West Bengal, Bihar, U.P., M.P., Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
- There are three main methods for air-curing viz.