CORESTA Meeting, Smoke Science/Product Technology, 2017, Kitzbühel, ST 07 (also presented at TSRC 2017)

Physical characteristics of handmade premium cigars: specifications and consequences of specifications

SEITA-Imperial Tobacco Limited, Fleury-les-Aubrais, France

Handmade premium cigars consist of natural and heterogeneous leaves rolled by hand to a given dimension. This traditional making process is performed by people (rollers) with considerable experience and training. The rollers adapt their technique, cigar to cigar, according to the leaves’ natural characteristics, such as volume or shape during bunching. This traditional manual process needs to be taken into account when assessing the physical characteristics of a cigar.

This study investigated diameter, length, weight and pressure drop of handmade premium cigars. A wide range of sizes were sampled at one point in time and analysed. In order to assess their respective variability, a distinction was made between those characteristics related to cigar specification and those related to the consequence of a specification.

Results showed low variability of diameter and length, below 10 % and 2 % respectively, whereas weight and pressure drop exhibited substantially higher variability up to 40 % and 120 % respectively. This confirms that diameter and length, i.e. specified parameters, are directly and well controlled conditions. In contrast, weight and pressure drop are not directly controlled but are simply a consequence of the cigar specifications and the manual making process.