In the production of FCV tobacco nearly 27 percent of the total cost of production is being spent towards curing. in order to reduce the cost of production, especially in curing, improved technologies have been developed
Flue-cured tobacco is kept in an enclosed heated area, but it is not directly exposed to smoke. This method produces cigarette tobacco that is high in sugar and has medium to high levels of nicotine. It is the fastest method of curing, requiring about a week. Virginia tobacco that has been flue cured is also called bright tobacco, because flue curing turns its leaves gold, orange, or yellow.
- Flue-curing is an improved method of curing. The curing consists of drying green leaves under artificial atmospheric conditions by adopting a process which does not allow the green leaf to come in direct contact with smoke or flames of the fuel and which permits the regulation of temperature and humidity.
- The main feature of flue curing is the drying of leaf under controlled conditions, where the starch gets converted into sugars and the green tobacco becomes bright, aromatic and fine textured.
- This method is adopted in almost entire Virginia cigarette tobacco areas like Guntur, Godavari, Mysore and other areas at Hyderabad, Madras, U.P, M.P. and Orissa.
- The flue-cured tobacco was first used for chewing purpose but later, its mildness and low nicotine content made it popular as a smoking tobacco.
- The cigarette smoking came into existence since 1880-1890 and it became increasingly popular with its manufacture from flue-cured Virginia tobacco.
- Now every priced cigarette is prepared with flue-cured tobacco having a certain proportion of other types of tobacco got from sun-curing like Natu tobacco of Andhra Pradesh.
- The production technique of flue-cured tobacco is little different from other types
- It is raised with low nitrogen supply
- Harvested at an advanced stage of maturity so that the tobacco might become rich in starch and poor in nitrogenous substances like nicotine at the time of harvesting.
- The leaves are always harvested by priming 3-4 leaves at a time.
The harvested leaves are strung on sticks and then stacked into a specially constructed flue- cured barn which is artificially heated with gradual increase in temperature until the leaves dry.
Process takes about 6-7 days, during which a fermantion occurs giving tobacco leaves colours ranging from yellow lemon to dark orang or red.
Product is mainly used in the cigarettes industry, under classification name of bright Virginia Tobacco.