Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
The spice ginger is obtained from the underground stems or rhizomes of Zingiber officinal. , a herbaceous tropical perennial belonging to the family Zingiberaceae. In cultivation, it is usually grown as an annual. The whole plant is refreshingly aromatic, but it is the underground rhizome, raw or processed, that is valued as spice.
English : Ginger
French : Gingembre
German : Ingwer,
Italian : Zenzero
Spanish : jengibre
Japanese : mioga, myoga, shoga,
Sinhalese : Inguru
Ginger dried pieces, Ginger Powder
It takes about 10 months to remain in the field and starts showing withering signs from the 8th month which indicates that the crop is ready for digging. Harvested ginger root is usually sun-dried for longer preservation.
Dried ginger is prepared from mature rhizomes which have developed full aroma, flavour and pungency, and harvesting is usually carried out at between eight to nine months after planting. Removal of roots from the soil and thorough washing of rhizomes is the first step to prepare the dried ginger. Preparation of rhizome for drying, which involves peeling, splitting or slicing. Then sliced dinger is dried. During drying, rhizomes lose moisture, about 60–70% of their weight, and achieve final moisture of 7–12%.
Uses & Functional properties
Ginger has excellent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are increasingly linked to the prevention of certain cancers and coronary heart disease. Ginger has long been ascribed aphrodisiac powers, taken either internally or externally. Ginger has beneficial effects on the digestive system and is used traditionally for the treatment of stomach ache, vomiting and indigestion.
In western countries ginger is used widely for culinary purposes in gingerbread, biscuits, cakes, puddings, soups and pickles. It is also used in the production of alcoholic beverages like ginger beer, ginger ale, and ginger wine.