Coriander Harvesting and Processing
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Aubrey Goulding
Posted on: August 28, 1998

Do you have any info on harvesting and processing coriander seeds? Any information will help.

Coriander is also known as Cilantro when the herb part of the plant is taken as a spice (prior to seed production). Otherwise, the seed and oil are known as Coriander. All are farmed commercially in the West, as we can be competitive with such countries as India with these crops. As with most mints, the only constraint is that the soils be free of Verticillium wilt.

The seed is taken by a John Deere-type combine, with some delicate adjusting to both the straw-walkers and fans. An auger delivery to the hopper works well with most seed of this size. Once taken from the field, further sifting and sizing is required for markets.

The sifting is usually done using a 298-D Clipper, although other sifters will work (Sweeco and Rotex). Clipper Sifters are best because they allow scalping, or the removal of unwanted debris such as stalk and herb. There are other forms of winnowing, but this usually works best in these situations.

Sizing (or "polishing") is then done using an Indent Cylinder. Because their through-put is slow (volumes), most processors will stack them and use several at one time. Most farms into the production of seed from spices will do their own on-farm processing, rather than having done by a custom processor.

Processing must never be done in the same building where the final product is stored. Since most farms have one barn for their crops (recent harvest and final product), this means another barn must be used. This is best done via a cooperative effort of six or seven farms (or more) in the region, where the processing is then done in a central location.

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