Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe), a monocotyledonous, sterile cultigen, is widely used as a spice, flavoring agent, and herbal medicine. The pungency of fresh ginger is due to a series of homologous phenolic ketones of which -gingerol is the major one. The gingerols are thermally unstable and can be converted to their corresponding shogaols, which are present in dried ginger. Fresh rhizomes of 17 clones of Australian ginger, including commercial cultivars and experimental tetraploid clones, were assayed by HPLC for gingerols and shogaols. -Gingerol was identified as the major pungent phenolic compound in all samples, while - and -gingerol occurred in lower concentrations. One cultivar known as "Jamaican" contained the highest concentrations of all three gingerols and was the most pungent of the clones analyzed. Gingerols were stable in ethanolic solution over a 5-month period when stored at 4 C. Shogaols were not identified in the extracts prepared from fresh rhizomes at ambient temperature, confirming that these compounds are not native constituents of fresh ginger. In contrast to previous findings, this study did not find significant differences in gingerol concentrations between the tetraploid clones and their parent diploid cultivar.
Wohlmuth, H, Leach, DN, Smith, MK & Myers, SP 2005, 'Gingerol content of diploid and tetraploid clones of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)', Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 53, no. 14, pp. 5772-5778.
Published version available from: