OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Pricking treatment technique to enhance drying of whole ginger rhizomes by 50%

Pricking involves piercing fresh ginger rhizomes with an object to improve moisture loss on drying, with 50% reduction in drying duration.

Photo of Gabriel Ifeanyi Okafor
1 0

Written by


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 1-2mm 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.


Ginger farmers, processors, machine fabricators, cooperatives and government parastatals. They will benefit by adopting the technology in their processing of ginger rhizomes, and collaborating to develop a motorized ginger pricking machine for higher productivity.


Nigeria, Sierra Leonne, Nepal, Ghana and other ginger producing countries


  • Yes


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

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 process, while great losses (material losses) are encountered due to splitting operation especially with high moisture content ginger rhizomes of high surface area (Onu et al, 2003; Yiljep, et al., 2005). Furthermore, in establishing  ginger oil/oleoresin contents, Yiljep et al., (2005) showed that the highest yield (2.0%) was from whole unpeeled samples.  This presents the need to improve the pre-drying techniques for enhanced moisture reduction employed in ginger processing, which will reduce drying time, conserve volatile oil and oleoresin.

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

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of OpenIDEO

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.