Coriander (Practical Action Brief)

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This page, Coriander (Practical Action Brief), includes work from a Technical Brief created by Practical Action.



Agricultural and botanical aspects

Annual erect herb which grows to a height of 90cm and requires medium to heavy well drained soils.


Correct harvesting is essential. Under ripe coriander fruits (often referred to as seeds) have an unpleasant flavour. Over ripe fruits shatter and are lost. Since ripening is progressive on the plant, harvesting should take place when between half or two thirds of the fruits are ripe. To minimise breakage, the plants should be cut during the early morning or in the late evening.


The plants are withered for two days and dried to approximately 18% moisture content (wet basis). They are then threshed and the fruits are dried in the shade to a moisture content (wet basis) of 9%. Coriander is artificially dried in some countries including the USSR at temperatures of 80-90°C. Temperatures of over 100°C results in the loss of volatile oils.


Used to flavour foods and as a major ingredient in curry powder (where coriander can be as much as 24%). Coriander is used to a large extent in the chemical industry in the USSR.

Reference and further reading

Processing of Cumin, Practical Action Technical Brief
Drying of Foods, Practical Action Technical Briefs [2]
Small-scale Drying Technologies, Practical Action Technical Brief [3]

Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L)
Main countries of production: India, Morocco, Pakistan, Rumania and USSR
Optimal climate: wide range of conditions