Biochemical Variability

Oleoresin of ginger is the total extract of ginger containing all the flavoring principles as well as the pungent constituents. The oleoresin contains two important compounds—gingerol and shogoal—that contribute to the ginger pungency. On long-term storage, gingerol becomes converted to shogoal. The quality of ginger thus depends on the relative content of gingerol and shogoal. Zachariah et al. (1993) classified 86 ginger accessions into high-, medium-, and low-quality types based on the relative contents of the quality components (Table 2.19). There are many ginger cultivars with high oleoresin, a few them, such as Rio de Janeiro, Ernad Chernad, Wynad, Kunnamangalam, and Meppayyur, also had a high gingerol content. The intercharacter association showed a positive correlation with oleoresin, gingerol, and shogoal.

Shamina et al. (1997) investigated the variability in total free amino acids, proteins, total phenols, and isozymes, using 25 cultivars. Moderate variations were recorded for total free amino acids, proteins, and total phenols. Isozyme variability for polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase, and SOD was reported to be low, indicating only a low level of polymorphism.

The information available from various studies on germplasm evaluation is summarized in Tables 2.20 and 2.21.

Table 2.19 Range, mean, and coefficient of variance in ginger cultivars for the quality components

Quality constituents




Oleoresin (%)

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