Originally from Asia, ginger is a spice whose usage dates back to ancient times: it was already used in Antiquity. This kind of spice is popular in Reunion Island. The fruit is an oval capsule, triangular, divided into three compartments containing blackish, irregular seeds with a bitter and aromatic taste.
The burning odor and flavor of ginger is caused by a mixture of shogaols, gingerols and zingerone.
Ginger rhizomes are used to extract oleoresin and an essential oil. Oleoresin contains chemical compounds responsible for the pungent flavor, such as gingerol. The composition of the essential oil greatly varies according to its geographical origin, but consists of fragrant parts such as zingiberene, curcumene, camphene, bisabolene, citral and linalool. Both the extracts are used for the flavoring of food, whereas only the essential oil is used in perfumery.