Processing the Moringa Leaves into Powder
Moringa leaves can be consumed fresh, cooked or dried.
Moringa powder is nutritious, is easy to make, easy to store and easy to use.
Moringa Leaf Powder: a multivitamin shot!
Moringa leaf powder is the source of incredible health benefits.
There is endless ways to incorporate Moringa leaf powder into the diet. Moringa leaf powder can be used as a tea, added to beverages, sprinkled on food or taken in capsules. Moringa powder can be used in cooking or salads. The list of moringa products and ways to apply them is endless
Processing the Moringa Leaves into Moringa Powder
Stripping the Moringa leaflets
Strip all the leaflets from the moringa leaf petiole. This can be done directly from the branches if the moringa leaves have not been stripped off the main branch before transportation. At this stage, diseased and damaged leaves are discarded.
Washing the Moringa leaves
Wash leaflets in troughs using clean potable water to remove dirt. Wash leaves again in 1% saline solution for 3-5 minutes to remove microbes. Finally, wash again in clean water. Leaves are now ready for drying. Drain each trough after each wash: fresh leaves must always be washed with fresh water.
Draining the Moringa leaves
Strain water from the Moringa leaves in buckets that have been perforated, spread leaflets on trays made with food-grade mesh and leave to drain for 15 minutes before taking them to the dryer.
Drying the Moringa leaves. There are three main methods for drying moringa leaves:
Room Drying Moringa leaves
Spread the moringa leaflets thinly on mesh tied on racks (mosquito net mesh can be used) in a well-ventilated room. This room should be insect, rodent and dust proof. Air circulation can be improved by using ceiling and floor level vents protected with a clean filter to keep the sun and dust out. It is possible to use a fan, but the air must not be directly oriented towards the moringa leaves, as it can increase contamination with germs in the air.
It is advisable to turn the moringa leaves over at least once, with sterile gloves, to improve uniform drying. Leaves should be completely dry within a maximum of 4 days. The loading density should not exceed 1 kg/m2.
However, room-dried leaves cannot be guaranteed mold-free with the maximum recommended moisture content of 10%. Therefore, we do not advise this method.
Solar Drying Moringa leaves
The solar dryer presented in the pictures is recommended but the polyethylene used should be uV treated or opaque (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. Organza or muslin cloth can be used as a filter.
Spread the moringa leaves thinly on mesh and dry in the dryer for about 4 hours (Temperature range is 35°C–55°C on a very sunny day). The final product should be very brittle.
Mechanical drying Moringa leaves
use electric or gas hot-air dryers. Drying temperatures should range between 50°C and 55°C. If the temperature exceeds 55°C, moringa leaves will “burn” and turn brown. The Moringa leaves should be dried until their moisture content is below 10%. We recommend this method for large scale leaf processing as this ensures year-round production. Loading density should not exceed 2.5 kg/m2.
Milling the Moringa Leaves
Mill dry leaves using a stainless steel hammer mill. leaves can be pounded in a mortar, or milled with a kitchen blender. Small-scale processors can use a burr mill or rent a commercial hammer mill for routine milling of their products.
Sieving the Moringa Powder
Sieve the Moringa leaf powder if need be. When you mill with a hammer mill, the fineness of the product will depend on the size of the screen used in milling. If too coarse, sift using a sifter with the desired screen size.
recommended moringa powder particle sizes are:
Coarse ( 1.0 mm – 1.5 mm)
Fine (0.5 mm – 1.0 mm)
Very fine (0.2 mm – 0.5 mm)
Drying the Moringa leaf powder
Moringa leaf powder strongly attracts moisture and the product can reabsorb humidity during or after milling. for this reason, moringa leaf powder should be dried at 50ºc for 30 minutes to reduce moisture content considerably below 7.5%
Packaging and Storage moringa Powder.
Moringa leaf powder can easily be contaminated by molds as it strongly attracts moisture. In addition, finely milled powder makes it easier for bacteria to penetrate the particles.
All persons involved in the packaging of moringa leaf products must ensure that, while on duty, personal cleanliness and hygiene are maintained. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as head caps, nose masks, disposable gloves, etc. must be used at all times.
Packaging in Bulk
The temperature and humidity must be controlled in the packaging room, to avoid re- humidification of the product.
After drying, the moringa powder is left to cool and packed into clean, single-use polythene bags and sealed. This is enclosed in a second polythene bag and heat-sealed. This is to maintain freshness and dryness prior to further use. The bags should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Final Packaging of Moringa Powder
The temperature and humidity must be controlled in the packaging room, to avoid re-humidification of the product.
Moringa leaf products should be packaged in clean, dry and opaque containers made of materials that do not affect the quality of the product. Each package must be properly sealed to prevent content leakage as well as moisture absorption.
Each package of moringa leaf product must be legibly marked with the following information:
Name of product
Name and address of the producer
Country of origin
Lot/batch identification number or code
Instructions for use
Nutritional information (optional)
Adapted from Moringanews / Moringa Association of Ghana
Processing should start immediately after harvesting and transporting the leaves to the processing point.