Ginger (roots)

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Infobox on Ginger (roots)
Example of Ginger (roots)
Freshness facts
Optimum carrying temperature 12°C to 14°C
Highest freezing point -
Acceptable product temp. at loading into containers Max. 2°C above carrying temperature
Optimum humidity 85% to 90%
Ventilation setting for containers 10 m³/hr
Storage life 2 to 3 months
Climacteric / non-climacteric Non-climacteric
Ethylene production Very low
Ethylene sensitivity Low
Modified / controlled atmosphere -
Potential benefits -
South America
Central America
South Africa

Ginger (roots)

Harvesting and Handling

The rhizome of the ginger plant is referred to as a root and is used as a spice in cooking and as a pickled vegetable. The knobby, fibrous mature root has a light yellowish brown skin when fresh. The rhizome is also harvested at a very early stage before fibre development has taken place, for use in pickles and confectionery.

Desired quality characteristics include skin colour, plumpness of tuber pieces, sheen on skin and absence of vegetative sprouts, blemishes, soil and insect injury. Young ginger is bright yellow to brown and has a high sheen with greenish-yellow vegetative buds, but no sprouts. Mature ginger rhizomes are harvested when the plant tops begin to wilt and die. These rhizomes should be plump and with a dry bright yellow-brown skin colour. The sheen is soon lost and the skin darkens.

Cooling and Storage

Mature ginger rhizomes can be stored at 12°C to 14°C with 85% to 90% RH for 2 to 3 months. Storage at 13°C with 65% RH leads to extensive dehydration and a wilted appearance. Mature ginger is chilling sensitive if held below 12°C. Symptoms include loss of skin colour and pitting of the skin, in severe cases there is internal breakdown and purple surface discolouration.

Dehydration is the most common problem. The rhizomes lose their sheen and darken rapidly during handling. Shrivelling of the pieces become pronounced after the loss of about 10% of harvest weight.

Controlled atmosphere considerations

No published recommendations.

Storage disorders

Armillaria rot, Bacterial soft rot, Bacterial wilt, Black rot, Blue mould, Chilling injury, Fusarium, Sprouting.