Ginger, dried [German version]

Table of contents

Product information
  Container transport
  Cargo securing

Risk factors and loss prevention:
Temperature Odor
Humidity/Moisture Contamination
Ventilation Mechanical influences
Biotic activity Toxicity / Hazards to health
Gases Shrinkage/Shortage
Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion Insect infestation / Diseases

Product information

Product name

German Ingwer, getrocknet
English Ginger, dried
French Gingembre sec
Spanish Jengibre seco
Scientific Rhizome of Zingiber officinale
CN/HS number * 0910 10 ff.

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Ginger is the washed, irregular-shaped rootstock (rhizome) of the reed-like ginger plant of the family Zingiberaceae, which is cultivated in the tropics and grows as tall as 1.5 m. The rootstock shape resembles a human hand (hands or claws).

The term spice is used to refer to plant parts which serve to improve the odor and flavor of foods. They contain essential oils and other ingredients which have a strong seasoning action.

Spices are processed, cleaned, graded and carefully packaged for overseas dispatch in the countries where they are cultivated. They are dried to preserve them for transport and storage. In consumer countries, they are delivered to spice mills, where they are cleaned and graded again, ready for sale in unground or ground form.

Spices are classified by the plant parts used:

Fruit and seed spices (e.g. pepper, cardamom, nutmeg)
Bud and flower spices (e.g. cloves)
Bark spices (e.g. cinnamon)
Root spices (ginger, turmeric)
Leaf spices (bay leaf)

The way ginger is treated after harvesting and cleansing differs according to the country in which it is grown: for instance, in West Africa the rhizomes are dried without peeling, while in Bengal they are soaked in water overnight and superficially scraped; goods from Malabar or Bombay have the corky rind removed completely and in Jamaica ginger is washed in cold water, carefully peeled and re-soaked. The latter is particularly prized because of its fine aroma.

If ginger has simply been washed and dried, but not peeled, it is known commercially as „black“ or „green“ ginger, while the peeled product is known as „white“ ginger. With peeled ginger, the outer peel is removed with special knives prior to drying, while with „split“ ginger the ginger tuber is split first to speed up the drying process.

The rootstock treated in this way is then cut into slices or chunks and often immersed in or dusted with a lime solution to bleach it and protect it against pests However, this process has become less significant with the development of modern fumigation methods.

Ginger from the finest shoots of the rootstock is also imported in crystallized form in earthenware jugs and in syrup in wooden kegs, specially from China and the West Indies.

Ginger has a characteristic, bitingly pungent, slightly sweetish and aromatic flavor.

Oil content:

Essential oils:

0.8 – 5.0%, in particular zingiberene, zingiberol [1]
1.0 – 3.0% [28]

Quality / Duration of storage

Depending on variety and origin, ginger exhibits varying quality features:

Jamaica ginger: best aroma
Malabar ginger: slight lemony taste
West African ginger: very hot, high oil content
Stem ginger: sometimes differs in flavor from the typical ginger aroma; it is steeped in sugar solution and crystallized.

Provided that the recommended storage conditions are complied with, dried ginger may be kept for up to 24 months.

Intended use

Ginger is used domestically and in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Ginger serves as a cooking spice for pickling pumpkin and gherkins and is an ingredient of curry powder. It is used in oriental and Indian cooking and in bakery and confectionery products and liqueurs. In Asia and Africa it has many medicinal uses.


(Click on the Figure to enlarge it.)

Photo, dried ginger

Figure 1

Countries of origin

This Table shows only a selection of the most important countries of origin and should not be thought of as exhaustive.

Africa Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast
Asia India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Japan
America Jamaica, Brazil
Australia Australia

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Ginger is packaged in jute fabric bags (36 – 65 kg, also secondhand bags) among other things and less frequently in boxes (60 kg).

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Symbol, general cargo

General cargo

Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad

Container transport

Standard containers may be used, subject to compliance with lower limits for water content of goods, packaging and container flooring.

Cargo handling

In damp weather (rain, snow), the cargo must be protected from moisture, since this may lead to mold and spoilage.

Hooks must not be used in handling bagged goods as they subject the bags to point loads, so damaging them. Due to their shape, plate or bag hooks apply an area load and are thus more suitable for handling bags.

Stowage factor

2.26 – 2.66 m3/t (jute fabric bags, 31 kg) [1]
2.23 – 2.65 m3/t [11]
2.07 m3/t (boxes, Bombay) [14]
2.66 m3/t (bags, Malabar) [14]
2.27 m3/t (bags, India) [14]
2.41 m3/t (bags, Africa) [14]

Stowage space requirements

Cool, dry, good ventilation


Fiber rope, thin fiber nets, wooden dunnage

Cargo securing

In order to ensure safe transport, the cargo must be stowed and secured in the means of transport in such a manner that it cannot slip or shift during transport. If loss of volume and degradation of quality are to be avoided, the packages must not be damaged by other articles or items of cargo.

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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

Dried ginger requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

Favorable travel temperature range: 5 – 25°C [1]

Ginger should be transported in areas which exhibit the lowest temperatures during the voyage and are dry. In any event, storage beneath the weather deck or, in the case of shipping in containers, in the uppermost layer on deck, must be avoided as the deck or container is strongly heated by the intense tropical sun and, at temperatures of > 25°C, essential oils may be lost.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

Dried ginger requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 60 – 70% [1]
Water content 12 – 15% [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 65% [1]

Spices are hygroscopic goods (hygroscopicity), which interact with the moisture in the air. The risk of mold growth is naturally at its greatest in warm, damp air and the product may become musty.

For this reason ginger should be loaded only in a properly dry condition and protected from heat and moisture during transport.

Ginger has poor moisture tolerance: the intrinsic moisture content of inadequately dried goods and moisture from external sources may cause mold growth. Contact with water in any form (seawater, rain or condensation water) may result in significant depreciation. For this reason, moisture measurements should ideally be carried out at the time of acceptance of a consignment.

In order to prevent condensation on the ship’s side or container walls from affecting the cargo, care should be taken to leave an adequate gap between the cargo stack and the ship’s side.

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RF Ventilation

Dried ginger requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

If the product is at „shipping dryness“, it does not have to be ventilated during transport. However, if the water content does not meet these guidelines, the following ventilation measures should be implemented to eliminate the potential for dampness:

Recommended ventilation conditions: air exchange rate: 6 changes/hour (airing)

In order to avoid formation of mold, the stowage space should be cool, dry and, most particularly, easy to ventilate.

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RF Biotic activity

Dried ginger displays 3rd order biotic activity.

It belongs to the class of products in which respiration processes are suspended, but in which biochemical, microbial and other decomposition processes still proceed.

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RF Gases

No risk.

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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

An elevated moisture content and excessively high temperatures create a risk of self-heating.

Oil content:

Essential oils:

0.8 – 5.0%, in particular zingiberene, zingiberol [1]
1.0 – 3.0% [28]

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RF Odor

Active behavior Ginger has a strong, pleasant but intense odor.

The odor of ginger results from its content of essential ginger oil and the bitingly pungent taste results from the content of gingerol.

When transporting spices, it is important to retain the content of essential oils to the greatest possible extent, since these substances, together with other constituents, such as fatty oils, tannins and bitter principles, determine the odor and flavor and thus quality of the spices.

The essential oils are readily volatilized and the seasoning action of the spices is consequently reduced. Volatilization of the essential oils is primarily determined by temperature. The higher is the ambient temperature, the more the essential oils are volatilized, as may be recognized by the intense odor in the hold.

Due to the readily volatilized essential oils, spices should always be stowed separately from each other and away from foodstuffs which readily absorb foreign odors (e.g. coffee or tea).
Passive behavior Ginger is sensitive to odor-emitting products.

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Ginger may create dust and dirt during cargo handling.
Passive behavior Ginger is sensitive to contamination by dust, dirt, fats and oils.

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RF Mechanical influences

With bagged cargo, point loads applied for example by hooks may result in damage (tears) to the bags and thus in loss of volume. Plate or bag hooks, which, due to their shape, distribute the load and reduce the risk of damage, should thus be used.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

No risk.

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

The natural drying process of the product may cause loss of weight, but this generally remains < 1%. With extended storage, the weight loss is also associated with the loss of essential oils.

Where secondhand bags are used, loss of volume may arise as a result of damage to the sacking.

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Insect infestation is a not uncommon risk with ginger. Consignments of ginger may be infested, for instance, by tobacco beetles, rust-red grain beetles, flour beetles and merchant grain beetles.

If the product was not adequately dried, it may also be infested by maggots.

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