Why is Dried Ginger Hotter Than Fresh?

😷When I catch a cold, I prefer to drink lemon ginger tea🍋. It warms me up and I feel like a cold goes away faster (my opinion). This post is a remake of an earlier post, but with additional information.

Ginger contains the pungent compounds gingerol and shogaol. It is often also referred to as [6]-Gingerol because there are also molecules with different carbon chains. Gingerol is clearly named after ginger. “Shoga” is the Japanese🇯🇵 word for ginger. Shogaol is more pungent than gingerol. When compared by Scoville Scale, a measurement of pungency🌶️, shogaol is hotter than piperine, the pungent component of pepper.

Fresh ginger is richer in gingerol (more than 10 times more than shogaol), but drying increases the shogaol content. Depending on the drying method, shogaol content can be higher than gingerol. This is because the dehydration reaction of gingerol occurs to form shogaol during a drying process. 

🍳Cooking may also produce gingerols. It has been reported that boiling or steaming at 100 °C for 60 minutes significantly increased shogaol 3.3- and 3.6-fold, respectively, compared to fresh ginger. On the other hand, in baking (180°C, 5 min) and microwave heating (600 W, 20 sec), the cookable time was short and no change could be observed.

Dehydration reactions are generally catalyzed by acids and bases. Perhaps cooking ginger with acidic (or basic) foods may increase the rate of shogaol formation. I usually mix lemon🍋 juice and ginger juice and heat in the microwave. I feel that it increases the pungency, is it just me?

📖Reference

1. M. Yoshida, et al. “Changes in 6-Gingerol Concentration in Ginger under Various Types of Cooking Conditions” Journal of Cookery Science of Japan, 2015, 48, 398.

2. S. NARASIMHAN, V. S. GOVINDARAJAN, “Evaluation of spices and oleoresin-VI-pungency of ginger components, gingerols and shogoals and quality” J. Fd Technol. 1978, 13, 31.

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