Ginger and turmeric, members of the Zingiberaceae
family, are widely used for their pungent and aromatic flavour in foods and also for their medicinal properties. Both crops are often grown by smallholders in mountain areas on rich former forest soils with no need for fertilizers and pesticides, fulfilling de facto the conditions of organic agriculture. They are consumed fresh or dried. Drying is often performed without taking into account the content of bioactive compounds in the dried product. Various bioactive compounds have been identified in their rhizomes, and their content affects the price of the dried product. Hence, this study focused on the effects of drying treatments and blanching on the retention of bioactive compounds in the dried products. The bioactive compounds in ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale
Roscoe) are gingerols (particularly 6-gingerol). The drying treatments that were applied to fresh ginger included constant and also changing temperature conditions. Due to the short drying time, 60 °C was the optimal drying temperature to retain 6-gingerol. However, the changing temperature conditions significantly improved the retention of 6-gingerol. As for blanching, it had a significant negative effect on 6-gingerol retention. Turmeric (Curcuma longa
) is known for its bright yellow colour and pharmacological properties due to curcumin, a phenolic compound. Drying was performed under constant conditions at 38 °C, 48 °C, 57 °C and 64 °C and a relative humidity of 20% and 40%. Drying at 57 °C with a lower relative humidity was the best drying treatment, yielding the highest amount of curcumin among non-blanched samples. Blanching for 15 min exhibited the highest curcumin yield while blanching for 5 min and 30 min did not have much effect. The findings of this study will benefit the industry in terms of improved quality control and cost reduction.
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