The ginger product is increasingly in demand among consumers, which is why imports are increasing and it has led to the creation of a consortium for domestic cultivation of ginger in Italy (see FreshPlaza of 11/07/2019). Importers, wholesalers and producers are required to use laboratory analyses for standard monitoring (e.g., to detect the presence of pesticides), but they can also use tests to detect the level of active ingredients.
With comparative analyses it is possible to determine the type and origin of ginger that contains the most gingerol, one of the key components of spiciness.
"We have acquired good experience with ginger analyses especially through comparative analysis. For example, many ask us for the absolute quantification of the content of components such as gingerol, expressed in mg/kg. Based on this data, they decide which ginger to buy for their customers," explained Silvia Zuccherelli, Maverik Bezzi and Giusy Riciputi of Sicural.
Sicural can determine the aromatic profile of ginger using the HSS+GC-MS technique. The aromatic profile of a substance is the result of the presence of mixtures of dozens of molecules chemically classified as terpenes, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones, which together provide specific and distinctive aromatic properties (see Freshplaza of 12/10/2020).
"In addition, we can determine the gingerols (6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, 10-gingerol and 6-shogaol) using the LC-MS/MS technique. The absolute amounts of these gingerols can be determined in mg/kg. The sample is extracted with an organic solvent and then determined using ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole-mass spectrometry. Gingerol is a phenolic compound present in fresh ginger that activates spice receptors on the tongue. It is the active component of fresh ginger."