Ginger v. Turmeric

Ginger has a very similar appearance to that of Turmeric!  Doesn't the above image make that very evident to you?  Interesting, isn't it?

If you were to get the rhizome and are confused by any remote chance, then simply break open the piece – if it has a bright orange-yellow hue, it is turmeric. Ginger, on the other hand, has a brownish color.

You may or may not find it surprising if we said that both Ginger and Turmeric belong to the same family – Zingiberaceae – and both are rhizomes. So technically, both Ginger and Turmeric are not roots but a stem which is later modified into a root. The similarity doesn’t end there. They both have been used to cure many health ailments and are known for their anti- inflammatory properties.  Both are rich in many essential nutrients and are also used as a food seasonings.

If we must point out the differences between Ginger and Turmeric then, the active medicinal ingredients in ginger are phytochemicals known as gingerols and shogoal. The active ingredient in turmeric is an antioxidant plant pigment called curcumin. Externally, the turmeric root has a slightly yellowish appearance while the interior is a bright orange, which is due to the presence of curcumin. With ginger, the exterior is a light brown and the interior will be a pale yellow that may have a slight touch of green. Flavour wise, turmeric is often described as pungent, bitter and earthy but is notably mild when compared to that of ginger.

Ginger oil, by application is widely used in confectionery beverages and baked products industry to add flavour, taste and fragrance in products. Ginger contains 1-2% volatile oil and zingiberene is the main constituent of the oil.

Ginger extract is used in many food items, soft drinks, beverages and many types of medicines. It is produced by extraction of the dried and unpeeled rhizome of Ginger, ground to a moderately coarse powder.

Turmeric essential oil extracted from the rhizomes of the turmeric plant has abundant antioxidants and has anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal qualities. Therefore, it is widely used in pharma industry for making anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and other such drugs. In the food and beverage industry, turmeric oil is used extensively as a flavouring agent. It is also used in the cosmetic industry and in perfumes.

Though not very popular in the western world, in a typical South East Asian or Indian household, ground turmeric is used as a spice in the various cuisines. Curcumin 95%, on the other hand, which is a curcuminoid extract standardized to 95% pure curcumin, is very popular. Due to increased awareness of its health benefits, curcumin is now well-accepted, both by the medical community and consumers. Hence it an integral component in dietary supplements, beverages, cosmetics and functional foods and even pet supplements.

A little Trivia for you: Cardamom, another widely used spice, also belongs to the same family! 

BHOOMI offers Ginger oil, Ginger Extract, Turmeric oil and Turmeric Extract (Curcumin 95%).  

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