As per International Standard specifications, ginger, whole and pieces, shall comply with the requirements specified in Table 11.8 (ISO, 1980).
Once the ginger is dry, it is sorted and graded. To ensure the quality of spices exported from the country, the government of India introduced the scheme of compulsory Quality
Table 11.8 ISO specifications for ginger
Moisture content, % (m/m), max 12.0 Total ash, % (m/m) on dry basis, max a. unbleached 8.0
b. bleached 12.0 Calcium (as calcium oxide), % (m/m) on dry basis, max a. unbleached 1.1
b. bleached 2.5 Volatile oil, mL/100 g on dry basis, min 1.5
Control and Pre-shipment Inspection in 1963. Spices are graded based on the standards fixed for the purpose. These grades are popularly known as the Agmark grades. For ginger, the grading takes into consideration the size of the rhizome; its color, shape, extraneous matter; the presence of light pieces; and the extent of residual lime (in the case of bleached ginger). The various grades in Indian ginger under Agmark and their specifications are given in Table 11.9 (Directorate of Marketing Inspection, 1964).
In addition, all grades should conform to the following general characteristics:
• Shall be the dried rhizomes of Zingiber officinale Roscoe, in pieces, irregular in shape and size, pale brown in color, with fiber content characteristic of the variety, and with peel not entirely removed.
• Shall have characteristic taste and flavor, be wholesome, and shall not have rancid or bitter taste or musty odor.
• Shall be reasonably dry and reasonably free from mold and insect infestation.
• For "garbled" grade, the light pieces are removed by garbling.
• For "bleached" grade, the rhizomes are lime bleached.
• Maximum tolerance of 3 percent shall be allowed in the size of the rhizomes.
• Extraneous matter means all foreign matter including the exhausted or spent ginger.
• For N.S. (nonspecified) material, the specifications of the spice will be as stated in the contract.
Agmark certification is currently not mandatory for export trade. However, it is still valued as a mark of quality. Indian Standard Specifications for ginger are almost in line with the Agmark specifications. These specifications classify ginger into six grades. The minimum rhizome size is 20 mm (IS, 1993).
Ginger rhizomes contain volatile oil, fixed oil, pungent compounds, starch and other saccharides, proteins, crude fiber, waxes, coloring matter, and trace minerals. The presence of vitamins and amino acids also has been reported. The relative percentages of these components vary with cultivar, soil, and climatic differences. Starch is the most abundant of the constituents, comprising of 40 to 60 percent of the weight of the dry rhizome (Lawrence, 1984). Crude protein, total lipids, and crude fiber have been reported
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