Quality and shelf life of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) as affected by temperature and packaging

T. Taghavi, M. Bell, M. Opoku, C. James, R. Siddiqui, R. Rafie
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) are grown as specialty crops and spices. The freshly harvested tubers are perishable and prone to water loss and fungal diseases. Cold storage can decrease water loss and control fungal diseases. However, ginger and turmeric are tropical crops and we hypothesized that immature tubers can suffer from chilling injury if stored at 4°C. Therefore, this experiment was designed to assess the effect of storage temperature on extending the shelf life of ginger and turmeric tubers in two consecutive years. Also, different packaging materials were tested to extend shelf life of ginger and turmeric. Tubers were harvested from Virginia State University’s Randolph Farm between December and February. In the first year (December 2017-February 2018), tubers were stored either at 4 or 25°C and were packaged in plastic ziploc bags. In the second year (December 2018-February 2019), tubers were stored at 4, 12, or 25°C and were packaged in grocery paper bags or clamshells. Tubers without visible defects were washed, gently dried, and then randomly divided between experimental treatments. Weight loss, total soluble solids (% Brix), and titratable acidity were measured before storage and every 7 d for 28 d. Fungal decay was observed but not scored. The experiment was conducted in 3 replicates. In the first year, tubers stored at 4°C had less water loss and fungal growth. Differences in total soluble solids and titratable acidity were not significant between the two temperatures. In the second year, discoloration occurred due to the chilling injury to tubers. Cold storage reduced water loss significantly and paper bags and clamshells reduced fungal decay compared to the plastic ziploc bags.
Taghavi, T., Bell, M., Opoku, M., James, C., Siddiqui, R. and Rafie, R. (2022). Quality and shelf life of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) as affected by temperature and packaging. Acta Hortic. 1340, 205-210
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1340.32
specialty crop, immature, water loss, cold storage, tuber quality, titratable acidity, packaging

Acta Horticulturae