Ginger Cultivation, Ginger Processing and Ginger value added Products
Ginger is very important commercial crop grown for its aromatic rhizomes which is used both as a spices and medicine. Ginger is valued for the dried ginger spice and preserved, crystallised ginger. Ginger is a perennial plant but is usually grown as an annual for harvesting as a spice. Ginger is best grown in partial shade and can be incorporate as an intercrop in coconut, coffee and orange plantations.
Ginger possesses a warm pungent taste and a pleasant odor, hence it has a wide use as a flavoring in numerous food preparation, beverages, ginger bread, soups, pickles and many soft drinks. There are two general types of ginger viz. fresh green ginger used for the preparation of candied ginger (in sugar syrup) and dried or cured ginger applied in the spice trade, for extracts, oleoresins and for the distillation of its volatile oil.
Several cultivars of ginger are grown in different ginger growing are as in India and they are generally named after the localities where they are grown. Some of the prominent indigenous cultivars are Maran, Kuruppampadi, Ernad, Wayanad, Himachal and Nadia. The exotic cultivar ‘Rio-de-Janeiro’ have also become very popular among cultivators.
Ginger is one of the excellent spice crops cultivated in Asia and India accounts for 40% of the world’s ginger production. Ginger root has high demand in national and international markets due to its excellent uses and benefits. Farmers can make gold out of it. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal. At the local market, households go for ginger because of its health benefits.
· While ginger helps common illnesses, it’s positive effect on more serious health conditions cannot be disregarded.
· Ginger has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years by ancient cultures. Its carminative properties promote the elimination of intestinal gas to prevent bloating and flatulence, while its intestinal spasmolytic properties relax the gastrointestinal muscles to soothe an upset stomach.
· Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which can help to improve blood flow, as well as help prevent chills, fever, and excessive sweat.
· Fungal infection one of the trickier issues to control because they’re increasingly resistant to conventional medicine, fungal infections don’t stand a chance against ginger.
An increasing demand for ginger in India coupled with a drop in domestic production is resulting in India becoming a net importer. India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of ginger. Ginger can be processed into a wide variety of products. Many products can be manufactured from ginger like dehydrated ginger, ginger candy, ginger powder, ginger oil and oleoresins and so on. Ginger is an important commercial crop with versatile applications. As condiment, ginger is used for flavoring many food products like tomato sauce or ketchup, salad dressings, meat sausages, gravies, pickles, curry dishes and so on.
In the food industry, its powdered form is widely used as a condiment/flavoring agent in salad dressings, tomato ketchup and sauce, pickles, gravies, meat sausages, curry dishes, etc. It can be used as pharmaceuticals for the production of herbal medicines in the treatment of cold fever. Ginger powder is also used for fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. Ginger oil obtained by the steam distillation of the dried ginger is mainly used in the flavoring of beverages, confectionery and perfumes. Powder ginger has very good domestic as well as export market.
There is a large market for both fresh and dried ginger. Ginger oil is obtained from the root of the herb Zingiber officinale. The peculiar hot taste and pungent taste of ginger can be attributed to the presence of an acrid compound called gingerol. The demand of ginger oil is ever increasing. It has good export and domestic demand. New entrepreneurs can well ventured in to this field. The demand is expected to reach at 4,212 tonnes by the year 2022.
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