A. Description of Red Ginger Plants
Red ginger (Zingiber officinale Linn. Var. Rubrum) is one of drug and spices commodities in Indonesia. The use of red ginger is very suitable for a wide range of processed because in addition to having a distinctive taste and aroma and delicious, it also has a function as a drug. In the pharmaceutical industry, red ginger is widely used for the drug (oral) and topical.
Red ginger classified on shrub with stem tubers and rhizomes. The trunk is a pseudo stem, composed of leaf midrib midrib-chime. Plant height between 40 to 60 cm, can even reach 1 meter. Grown stem tubers and rhizomes spread horizontally in the ground. Bulbs grow elongated trunk, branches sprout manner. Shoots is known as rhizomes, tubers edged form, which has a distinctive aroma and a spicy flavor. Red rhizome color, small size and rugged fiber. In the vicinity there are the roots of the fibers are more abundant in the bottom of the rhizome.
Red Ginger is cultivated in the soil should be fertile, friable, contains a lot of organic matter (humus) and well drained to get a fat ginger rhizome and fleshy. Development of red ginger is generally performed on latosol soils, alluvial, red-yellow podzolic quite fertile and andosol containing relatively high organic matter. Red ginger plants can not grow well in soil that has a lot of standing water (poor drainage), wetlands, heavy clay, and the soil is dominated by coarse sand or gravel content.
Classification of red ginger plant is as follows:
Sub Division: Angiospermae
Species: Zingiber officinale Linn. var rubrum
Red ginger production centers in Indonesia, located in Sumatra, Bengkulu, and Lampung. Red Ginger is always harvested after the age of 8-9 months. Ginger contains volatile oil is high compared to most large and small ginger is equal to 4% making it suitable for herbs. Planting red ginger farmers used for medicine, essential oils and oleoresins. In the West Halmahera, the only use of red ginger for traditional medicine and cooking spices.
Some of the things that must be considered by farmers to obtain the optimal production of red ginger in addition to a good nursery is through the correct way of planting and maintenance which includes replanting, weeding, provision of litter (mulching), and fertilization. Control of pests and diseases that can interfere with the production of red ginger is also needed, because one of the problems is the development of red ginger bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum) which cause a drop in production and quality. Until now there has been found an effective solution to overcome the disease. Party Research Institute of Medicinal Plants and Aromatic (BALITRO) continues to conduct research and development in connection with solving the problem of red ginger cultivation of bacterial wilt disease.
B. Red Ginger Products and Terms of Quality
Red ginger plant can be sold as fresh ginger or in processed form such as ginger powder, dried ginger, essential oils and oleoresins. Fresh red ginger more consumed by the domestic market for the benefit of health. It is associated with the habit of Indonesia who has always been fond of consuming herbs including red ginger.
In addition to meet the domestic market demand, fresh red ginger and other processed forms can be exported. Red ginger and red ginger processed products must meet quality requirements set to be more competitive in the market. In general, red ginger essential oil containing 3.9%, 44.99% starch content, ash content 7.46%, and 43.65% fiber content. Here are a few requirements that must be met so that the red ginger and red ginger processed products can be marketed at home and abroad.
1. Red Ginger Fresh
Red ginger is fresh ginger freshly harvested red and has not experienced a change in shape. Red Ginger desired export quality fresh red ginger rhizome is stout with a minimum weight of 200 grams. Table 2 shows fresh red ginger quality standards desired by consumers.
Table 2. Red Ginger Fresh Quality Standards
No. Characteristics Terms of Quality
a Red ginger freshness Red ginger skin looks smooth, shiny, and no wrinkles
b Rhizome sprout No one or several end rhizome sprout
c Sectional appearance Ginger transverse when sliced fresh red cross on one of the cross-section of rhizome distinctive bright red fresh ginger
d Fresh red ginger rhizome Rhizome is said to be complete when the branches of red ginger rhizome nothing was broken, with a maximum of two cross-sectional fracture at the base
e Insects Free from insects
Sources: Library Agromedia, 2005
2. Red Ginger Powder
Red ginger powder is a perfectly dried red ginger (water content approximately 8-10 percent). Dried ginger is finely ground to a size of about 50-60 mesh and packaged in a dry container. Factors that affect the quality of the red ginger powder are particle size, moisture content, and essential oil content. To produce red ginger powder with essential oil content above 1.5% should be selected from the 9 months old raw material where essential oil content in an optimal state.
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils are a volatile oil consisting of a mixture of volatile substances with the composition and different boiling points. Most of the essential oil obtained by distillation (hidrodestilasi). Essential oils are distilled from red ginger until amber colored translucent. Distillery time lasts 10-15 hours so that the oil can be perfectly distilled. Levels of ginger oil reaches 1.5 to 3 percent. Table 3 below shows the standard quality of ginger oil is still referring to the provisions of Essential Oil Association (EOA).
Table 3. Essential Oil Quality Standard of Red Ginger
No. Requirements Specifications
1 Color flaxen – yellow
2 Specific gravity 25/25 º C 0877-0882
3 Refractive Index 1486-1492
4 Optical Round (-28 º) – (-45 º)
5 Lathering Numbers, maximum 20
Sources: Library Agromedia, 2005
Essential oils are widely used in various industries, such as perfumes, cosmetics, essence, pharmaceutical and Flavouring agent. It Is currently being actively developed even curing disease through Aromatheraphy, using essential oils derived from plants.
Oleoresin is a mixture of resin and essential oil obtained from extraction using organic solvents such as ethanol, acetone, isopropanol or hexane. Red Ginger contains a resin that is high enough so that it can be made as oleoresin. The advantages of the oleoresin is more hygienic and have more power when compared with fresh red ginger. The use of oleoresin industry is preferred because it smells more sharply so that its use does not require significant costs.
5. Dried Red Ginger
Dried red ginger is a red ginger preserved by either drying process using solar power and the artificial drying. Drying is the process of reducing the moisture content to the best extent (about 8-10 percent), due to the moisture level of the ginger can be safe from pollution caused by mold and excessive use of insecticides. Dried red ginger can be sold in the form of not peeled, or half-skinned. Table 4 below shows the standard quality of crude red ginger (dried red ginger).
Table 4. Crude Quality Standards of Red Ginger
No. Characteristic Value
1 Water content, maximum 12%
2 Levels of essential oils, maximum 1.5%
3 Levels of ash, maximum 8.0%
4 Moldy and insects –
5 foreign objects, maximum 2:05
Sources: Library Agromedia, 2005