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- Ginger (Zingiber
officinale) is a perennial plant in the family Zingiberaceae - its
rhizome is commonly used as a cooking spice throughout the world.
- Ginger takes its name
from the Sanskrit word stringa-vera, which means “with a body like a
horn”, as in antlers.
- Ginger has been
important in Chinese medicine for many centuries, and is mentioned in
the writings of Confucius.
- It became so popular
in Europe that it was included in every table setting, like salt and
pepper. A common article of medieval and Renaissance trade, it was one
of the spices used against the plague.
- Ginger oils and
oleoresins are the value added products obtained from the dry rhizomes
of Zingeber Officinale by steam distillation and followed by solvent
- The volatile part
that imparts the characteristic sweet, warm citrus like pleasant smell,
is the essential oil and is obtained by steam distillation.
- Solvent extraction of
fresh ginger will yield oleoresins, which will combine the aroma and the
parting compound as well as pungent compound-gingerols and shogaols.
- The alternate process
available for the recovery of major flavour compounds is the
supercritical CO2 extraction technology
- Ginger are
often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an
ingredient in many dishes.
- They can also be
stewed in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often
added as a sweetener; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added.
- Mature ginger roots
are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice from old ginger roots is extremely
potent and is often used as a spice in Indian Recipes , Chinese cuisine
to flavor dishes such as seafood or mutton & Vegetarian Recipes.
- Ginger is also made
into candy and used as a flavoring for cookies, crackers and cake, and
is the main flavor in ginger ale-- a sweet, carbonated, non-alcoholic
beverage, as well as the similar, but somewhat spicier beverage ginger
- India, China,
Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Jamaica, Brazil and Nigeria are well-known
producers. Most of the world trade in ginger is as a dried spice,
however fresh rhizomes are also traded.
- The other states
where ginger is grown are Orissa, West Bengal & Meghalaya.
- Though grown all over
India, the finest quality ginger comes from Kerala endowed as it is with
a congenial climate and a rich earthy soil. Indian dry ginger is known
in the world market as 'Cochin Ginger' (NUGC) & 'Calicut Ginger' (NUGK).
- India is the largest
producer - but major consumption is within the country & Imports too.
- China is the largest
Exporter, Japan & USA are the biggest Importers .
- India offers ginger
in a variety of forms; oils, oleoresins, fresh ginger in brine, pickles,
candies and syrups. It also comes in garbled/ ungarbled,
bleached/unbleached and powder forms.
- Confectionery ginger
constitutes less than 3% of the world trade (by volume), it is important
as a value-added product and earns a much higher rate of return compared
to the fresh or dried rhizomes.
- Most common are
the gingerols, which are largely responsible for the
anti-inflammatory, antinauseant and
antioxidant effects. There are also components of the spice with
antiviral activity and zingibain is a powerful protein-digesting enzyme.
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