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Development of manual whole ginger pricking machine to enhance drying of whole ginger rhizomes by 50%

Manual pricking machine was developed to decease the drudgery associated with hand pricking with sharp objects.

Photo of Gabriel Ifeanyi Okafor
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Dried ginger rhizome powder is a major constituent of most culinary spice mixes for seasoning meat products, which is due to its unique aroma, pungency and tenderizing properties. However, drying ginger and obtaining product quality are major challenges faced by ginger processors in Nigeria and other ginger producing countries. Ginger pricking technology attempts to solve the twin problems of enhanced drying and improved product quality, by using sharp stainless steel objects to pierce both sides of a fresh ginger rhizome prior to drying. It has been shown to reduce drying time by up to 50% compared to drying whole ginger rhizomes, during mechanical drying. Pricking is carried out manually by piercing through ginger rhizome at short intervals, to improve moisture loss during drying. Manual ginger processing technique is tedious, inefficient, labor intensive, time consuming and exposes the product to contamination, hence, the need to develop a ginger pricking machine. Manual ginger pricking machine has been fabricated and evaluated.


Major beneficiaries are ginger farmers, processors, exporters, cooperatives, investors, machine designers/fabricators, Ministries of Agriculture and other government stakeholders. They will benefit by using the technology as a pre-treatment prior to drying their whole fresh ginger rhizomes for enhanced essential oil retention and yield. Manual and motorized ginger pricking machines could be produced in large quantities for distribution to ginger producing communities/countries.


Nigeria, Nepal, Sierra Leone, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Ghana, India and other ginger producing countries


  • Yes


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year


  • Yes, for more than one year.


I am a Lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. I long to have collaborators that would assist in further development and commercialization of this and other technologies being worked on.

In ginger-processing, the equipment for enhancing ease of moisture loss during drying is the most critical machine in its processing into various products (Onu, 1997). These pre-drying operations also have several limitations. Flavour components of ginger are concentrated just below the peel hence great losses are encountered in the peeling 

A new pre-drying processing technique – pricking, provides an improved alternative, which effectively resolves the challenges posed by splitting - due to material loss; essential oil and oleoresin losses - due to peeling, and energy and time waste - due to whole drying. Pricking is a new processing technique which involves the piercing of ginger rhizomes with cylindrical metal objects to improve moisture loss during drying. Okafor et al., (2007), showed that pricking technique produces  an appealing colour that is superior to colour of dried ginger products processed employing other pre-drying techniques, with up to 50% reduction in drying time. 

Peeling and slicing operations, are very tedious, time consuming and unhygienic (Onu, 1997), just like manual pricking operation. According to FAO (2007) manual processing is usually unhygienic, due to direct contact of product with handlers and time consuming, and often results in poor quality products due to under drying and mould growth. To overcome these challenges, mechanization of ginger processing, especially pre-drying treatment is necessary.

The basic unit components of the pricking machine include the loading chamber made of stainless steel metal sheet. The pricking unit was made up of stainless steel metal rods. These rods were assembled in a 203 x 164 mm rectangular metal sheet. The weights of ginger rhizomes before and after manual or machine pricking were not significantly (p>0.05) different from each other.

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Hi Gabriel, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of Gabriel Ifeanyi Okafor

I attached images to my submission as attachment. The Image button rejected my post, so I had to attach a PDF containing relevant facts/images. Thank you for your concern.