The effects of different drying methods (freeze drying, vacuum oven drying, and shade drying) on the phytochemical constituents associated with the antioxidant activities of Z. officinale var. rubrum Theilade were evaluated to determine the optimal drying process for these rhizomes. Total flavonoid content (TFC), total phenolic content (TPC), and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity were measured using the spectrophotometric method. Individual phenolic acids and flavonoids, 6- and 8-gingerol and shogaol were identified by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography method. Ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays were used for the evaluation of antioxidant activities. The highest reduction in moisture content was observed after freeze drying (82.97%), followed by vacuum oven drying (80.43%) and shade drying (72.65%). The highest TPC, TFC, and 6- and 8-shogaol contents were observed in samples dried by the vacuum oven drying method compared to other drying methods. The highest content of 6- and 8-gingerol was observed after freeze drying, followed by vacuum oven drying and shade drying methods. Fresh samples had the highest PPO activity and lowest content of flavonoid and phenolic acid compounds compared to dried samples. Rhizomes dried by the vacuum oven drying method represent the highest DPPH (52.9%) and FRAP activities (566.5 μM of Fe (II)/g DM), followed by freeze drying (48.3% and 527.1 μM of Fe (II)/g DM, respectively) and shade drying methods (37.64% and 471.8 μM of Fe (II)/g DM, respectively) with IC50 values of 27.2, 29.1, and 34.8 μg/mL, respectively. Negative and significant correlations were observed between PPO and antioxidant activity of rhizomes. Vacuum oven dried rhizomes can be utilized as an ingredient for the development of value-added food products as they contain high contents of phytochemicals with valuable antioxidant potential.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.