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