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Thursday, November 1, 2018

How to process moringa leaves: drying moringa leaves in microwave

drying moringa leaves in microwave

What is your take on drying moringa leaves in microwave? Are you into moringa leaves processing for home use or commercial purposes? Let me ask you another question.

What is your favourite method for drying moringa leaves? 

a) Sun drying
b) Freeze drying
c) Shade drying
d) Microwaving
e) Solar drying
f) Heated air drying
g) Vacuum drying
h) Infra red drying

What is your answer? Kindly indicate your answer as a comment at the end of the article.

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According to Seriousseats, "Compared to other drying methods—like hanging or using a low oven—the microwave produces the most potent dried herbs with the freshest flavor and the brightest color."

Personally, the number one factor I consider before going for any moringa leaves drying method is the effect on the nutritional value of the leaves. So I would ask, what will be the effect on the nutritional integrity of the leaves after drying?

I have not tried out all the other methods out there, but I would go with shade drying anytime. On the flip side, when drying tons of moringa leaves, how effective would shade drying become? I believe the companies churning out thousands of moringa leaf products daily are not shade drying their leaves either. Okay, so let us look at the vacuum drying process below.

How to Dry Moringa leaves in the Microwave

Pick moringa leaves off a tree and make sure to use good quality moringa leaves that are not crumpled or torn. You can leave the stems attached to the moringa leaves if you wish, but make sure to remove the moringa leaves from any twigs or woody stems.

Place a few small moringa leaves on a paper towel.
Place the paper towel with the moringa leaves on it in the microwave. Put another paper towel over the moringa leaves.

Microwave the moringa leaves for 30 seconds, using a medium or low power setting if available. It’s better to microwave the moringa leaves for a short amount of time and then re-microwave them if needed rather than microwave them for too long.

Remove the moringa leaves from the microwave, and check to see if they’re dry. If not, put them back in the microwave and re-cover them with the paper towel. Microwave them for about 10 seconds longer and check them again until you are satisfied. There are other methods of drying as listed above. Let us look at one or two of them below.


Solar dryers are devices that use solar energy to dry substances, especially food. There are two general types of solar dryers: Direct and indirect.

Direct solar dryers expose the substance to be dehydrated to direct sunlight. One modern type of solar dryer has a black absorbing surface which collects the light and converts it to heat; the substance to be dried is placed directly on this surface. These driers may have enclosures, glass covers and/or vents to in order to increase efficiency.

In indirect solar dryers, the black surface heats incoming air, rather than directly heating the substance to be dried. This heated air is then passed over the substance to be dried and exits upwards often through a chimney, taking moisture released from the substance with it.


According wikipidia, Freeze drying or lyophilization is a drying method where the solvent is frozen prior to drying and is then sublimed, i.e., passed to the gas phase directly from the solid phase, below the melting point of the solvent. It is increasingly applied to dry foods, beyond its already classical pharmaceutical or medical applications. 

It keeps biological properties of proteins, and retains vitamins and bioactive compounds. Pressure can be reduced by a high vacuum pump (though freeze drying at atmospheric pressure is possible in dry air). If using a vacuum pump, the vapor produced by sublimation is removed from the system by converting it into ice in a condenser, operating at very low temperatures, outside the freeze drying chamber.


A more sophisticated mode of drying is known as Supercritical drying. Supercritical drying, also known as critical point drying, is a process to remove liquid in a precise and controlled way.[ It is useful in drying of spices, the decaffeination of coffee, etc. This is not a common place. I have personally not seen where and how it is used.

Drying moringa leaves in microwave is a great method for preparing moringa leaves tea or leaf powder anytime. It is faster than my preferred method of shade drying and can be used conveniently. Now the choice is yours to make. Don't forget to leave the answer to the above question below.

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