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Exploring the Active Compounds and Biological Activity of Ginger

As discussed in the previous article, “Ginger Varieties in Indonesia: Characteristic and Differences”, ginger is widely used as a spice, beverage, and traditional medicine. This is because ginger has active compounds that provide a spicy and warm sensation.

Ginger contains active compounds such as zingerone, shogaols, gingerols, paradols, β-phellandrene, curcumene, cineol, geranyl acetate, terpineol, terpene, borneol, geranyl, limonene, zingiberol, linalool, α-zingiberene, β-sesquiphellandrene, β-bisabolene, zingiberenol and α-farnesene [1]. The active compounds responsible for the spicy flavor (gives a warm and stinging sensation in the mouth) in ginger are gingerols, shogaols, paradols, and zingerone [2]. These compounds are non-volatile compounds. Zingerone is obtained from the drying or cooking process of gingerols. Meanwhile, shogaols is obtained when gingerols gets heat treatment or long-term storage. After hydrogenation, shogaols can be converted into paradols [3].

In addition, α-zingiberene, β-sesquiphellandrene, α-curcumene, and β-bisabolene are sesquiterpenes found in ginger essential oil, methanol extract of ground ginger, and aqueous extract of roasted/boiled ginger. These compounds have distinctive (spicy) odors such as α-zingiberene which has a warm woody aroma-weak spicy, β-sesquiphellandrene has a spicy, mild aroma, α-curcumene has a spicy, herbal aroma, and β-bisabolene has a warm, spicy, sweet-balsamic aroma [3].

The active compounds in ginger not only give a spicy and warm sensation, but also have biological activities as in Table 1.

The spicy and warm sensation when consuming ginger is due to the active compounds contained in ginger. These compounds also not only provide a distinctive spicy and warm sensation but also provide various biological benefits.

PT Mitra Ayu is currently developing exciting Ginger products. Stay tune for more interesting articles on Ginger.

For questions about Ginger or other Indonesian natural products, please contact us at or send us a message here.


[4] Antoniewicz, J., Jakubczyk, K., Gutowska, I., & Janda, K. (2021). Ginger (Zingiber officinale)–A Spice with Therapeutic Properties. Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu, 27(1).


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