Sunday, 28 October 2012

Ginger Research, Import Concerns, Theft & Christmas

Let's start with a sporting trivia question. What did Babe Ruth, the legendary American baseball player, enjoy for breakfast? Apparently, he drank two pints of bourbon and ginger ale. Ruth must have enjoyed his ginger as he personally endorsed Red Rock Cola, a popular ginger ale and cola product.

The story about Fijian ginger exports to Australia continues. Queensland farmers and politicians are concerned about the risk of pest infestation and the threat to jobs resulting from cheap imports. These farmers have raised their concerns with the Australian Senate Rural and Regional Affairs committee. This committee will produce a report by the 29th of November. Interestingly, Queensland farmers are also concerned about the import of pineapples from Malaysia.

Ginger is a very important export commodity for Fiji. The bulk of these exports, at 830,000 kg and worth $6million, takes the form of immature ginger principally for the New Zealand and European markets.

James White Drinks has extended its Beet It range of beetroot juices with the launch of Beet It With Ginger, an organic beetroot juice with ginger. The Food & Drink Innovation Network reports the owner of James White as saying that as only 30% of people love beetroot, adding ginger will immediately increase that percentage. I should be able to find a bottle in my local Waitrose.

McCormick, the international herb and spice producer, has identified ginger as one of seven must-have flavours for the forthcoming festive season, according to a company news release. I've never really thought about ginger with my Christmas turkey but the possibility of a ginger and orange glaze immediately comes to mind. What do you think?

The Birmingham Mail reports that thieves have made off with £12,000 worth of Fox’s ginger nuts and shortcakes from a Walsall industrial estate. This haul is obviously too much for personal consumption so will have to be offloaded somewhere. So if you are having a quiet pint in a West Midlands pub, don't be surprised if someone whispers over your shoulder, "Psst, want some ginger?".

As we have seen in previous posts, Americans have developed a taste for Belgian-style Witbier with ginger. I've found another one, this time from San Francisco's Triple Voodoo Brewing, called Witopia. This 5.5% abv wheat beer contains ginger, coriander & orange peel. (Source: Shanken News Daily).

Still in the US and November 1st sees the launch of this year's Christmas Ale from the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio. This four-times World Beer Championships gold medal winner is a holiday ale which has been brewed with the addition of fresh ginger, honey and cinnamon. I think that this shows that ginger-spiced beers and ales can not only be refreshing in the summer but also warming in the winter.

And here is another one from the States. Sabra Dipping Company has just launched Asian Fusion Garden Hummus where Asia meets the Mediterranean. This interesting sounding hummus is made from ginger and sesame (and a few other things).

Next year will see the publication of a research paper entitled "Value-added bioethanol from spent ginger obtained after oleoresin extraction". Conducted by the Food Engineering and Technology Department at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, the research will show that spent ginger can be used to produce bioethanol. The spent ginger is what remains after the extraction of oleoresin and constitutes more than 90% of the original raw material.

I like to keep an eye on ginger agricultural developments in the US. This is a country which, apart from Hawaii, has not been known for growing ginger. But an increasing number of innovative, adventurous and entrepreneurial farmers have taken the plunge and started to produce ginger. To assist these farmers, the University of Minnesota has established a ginger research programme at its Southern Research & Outreach Centre in Waseca. Researchers here plant 100-150 pounds of ginger a year in high tunnels.

The Kathmandu Post reports that the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Nepal Ministry of Commerce and Supply will be promoting the production of ginger in Taplejung and Bhojpur districts. Both of these districts are known for growing ginger. This new initiative will introduce improved ginger 'seed' with the intention of harvesting ginger with a lower fibre content. Low fibre is a characteristic in demand in the international markets and can command a higher price.

No comments:

Post a Comment