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World-Famous Healthy Food, Korean Ginseng

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Korean ginseng takes the greatest pride in quality as all the ginseng around the world is now divided into “Korean ginseng” and “not Korean ginseng.” So it’s no surprise that the demand for Korean ginseng in overseas markets is steadily increasing. <Korea AgraFood> imparts information about Korean ginseng to our readers: amusing stories related to Korean ginseng, processed foods, main exporters, and so on.  

Common Questions about Korean Ginseng

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Can eating Korean ginseng give me a fever?
This is not true. A joint research project conducted for three years by RDA (Rural Development Administration of Korea) and GZUCM (Guangzou University of Chinese Medicine) demonstrated that there is absolutely no ground for the claims that Korean ginseng has a heat-raising function. The researchers gave Korean ginseng and American ginseng to a selected pool of people and took measurements of 45 parameters including their body temperature and facial flushing. The results showed that neither Korean ginseng nor American ginseng change the body temperature.

Korean ginseng is superior to ginseng from other countries in terms of saponin contents?
Right. Saponins also have different pharmacological qualities according to the type. Korean ginseng contains 38 saponins, while the average for other types of ginseng is 14 saponins. One of the constituents of Korean red ginseng, ginsenoside Rh2, was found to attack various types of cancerous cells. Moreover, polysaccharides, which abound in Korean ginseng, are helpful for improving the body’s immune function, inhibiting the growth of tumors.

Korean ginseng is not good for patients with hypertension?
This is wrong. Some people in China and Europe believe that eating Korean ginseng can raise the blood pressure. But it is a result of a distortion of facts in the marketing process and a misunderstanding on the part of consumers. In fact, the ginsenoside Rh1 in the Korean ginseng helps stabilize blood pressure and prevents hardening of the arteries. 

Korea is the country of ginseng’s origin?
Correct. The outstanding medical efficacies of ginseng have been known in the East since two thousand years ago and the main production area even at that time was Korea, according to ancient Korean and Chinese records In 2011, CODEX (Codex Ali-mentarius Commission) set the existing regulations for pesticide residues in Korean ginseng as the international standard. This means that Korean ginseng holds an unchallenged position in the ginseng industry around the world.

What Processed Ginseng Product Is Right for Me?

Ginseng is classified into several kinds according to the way it is processed. A variety of processed ginseng products are available on the market and easy to consume. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Red Ginseng Tea

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This is a powder product made by drying red ginseng concentrate. Red ginseng tea is good for the people who want to try red ginseng for the first time, those who prefer to have red ginseng concentrate in an easy way, and healthy tea lovers.

Red Ginseng Extract Pills

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Extract pills are small globules made from red ginseng powder and condensed red ginseng. Ways to take the extract pills are similar to those for other nutritional supplements on the market: they should be taken with water and slowly chewed or melted in the mouth. 

Fresh Ginseng
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Fresh ginseng is the ginseng that has just been harvested and that is not dried or somehow processed. Moisture represents 75 percent of its contents, making it difficult to store the fresh ginseng for more than one week. Therefore, if we want to store it for a longer time, it should be processed. The name of the processed product reflects the method that was used to process the ginseng. For example, red ginseng is the fresh ginseng processed by vaporizing or another steaming method and then dried. In the process of steaming, the constituents of ginseng change, with the number of types and amount of saponins increasing the most. Another type of ginseng, white ginseng, is made by peeling off and drying some fresh ginseng in the sun or under a hot wind. The procedure lowers the moisture content to under 14 percent. White ginseng can be stored for a long time.

Concentrate (Extract)
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Concentrate is a ginseng product in which the efficacies of ginseng have been maximized through such processes as extraction, filtering, and enrichment. The active components remaining after evaporating all the moisture are called “high solid contents.” The higher the contents are, the better the product. That is why, when you choose a ginseng concentrate, you should look for a product with over 60 percent of the high solid contents.

Red Ginseng Capsules

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Red ginseng capsules contain red ginseng powder and sometimes several additional ingredients. The powder is made by drying red ginseng extract. It is important that the product has over 20 percent red ginseng powder. The ginseng capsular products are a good match for the consumers who dislike a bitter taste in ginseng.

Red Ginseng Jeolpyeon

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Jeolpyeon, or pounded red ginseng cake is a processed red ginseng product in which ginseng is thinly sliced, covered with honey, and dried. It has a rich, sweet taste. Most red ginseng jeolpyeon products are individually packaged, so they are easy to carry and eat when performing an outdoor activity.

There are also other processed red ginseng products - including red ginseng candy and red ginseng jelly - that are popular with Korean and foreign consumers. 


Leading Korean Ginseng Exporters

Korea, the birthplace of ginseng, is actively exporting ginseng products. Korean ginseng brands are also coming into the limelight around the world. Let us introduce you to several leading Korean ginseng exporters pioneering the overseas markets.

NH Hansamin

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NH Hansamin is a red ginseng brand of Nonghyup, a representative agricultural cooperative of Korea. In Jeungpyeong-gun, South Chung-cheong Province, NH Hansamin operates a large red ginseng factory (25,794㎡) equipped with GMP (Good Manufactur-ing Practice) facilities for processing six-year-old ginseng. The main Hansamin product is the red ginseng extract Hongsamjeong. It is made by processing six-year-old red ginseng for 36 hours at a low temperature. Another Hansamin product, the caffeine-free energy drink “RG Energy Drink,” is receiving a positive response in overseas markets including the US.

Inquiries NH Hansamin Corp
Tel +82-2-2144-7041
Website www.nkgc.co.kr


Chunjiyang

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Chunjiyang attaches a particular importance to strengthening the antioxidant saponin contents in its processed ginseng products. Depending on the amount of saponin content, the company offers several types of products: original (7㎎ per 1g), premium (10㎎), yang (14㎎), ji (18㎎), and chun (23㎎). Consumers can choose a Chunjiyang product to their liking and suiting their income level. Chunjiyang processed red ginseng products are exported to China and Vietnam. In Vietnam, Chunjiyang manages exclusive selling agencies in four major cities, including the capital city of Hanoi. The company’s products are particularly popular with local consumers in the high income bracket.

Inquiries Chunjiyang Co., Ltd.
Tel +82-2-2071-3615
Website www.hongsam.or.kr

Ginseng & Organic  

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All ginseng products of Ginseng & Organic are made with ginseng grown using only natural and fermented fertilizers, without any pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The organic ginseng cultivated in this way possesses stronger autoimmunity qualities and contains more saponin than ordinary ginseng. The company offers the products in two categories: “healthy red ginseng” and “delicious red ginseng.” The former includes highly enriched products that target premium consumers. The delicious red ginseng products, on the other hand, are designed for consumers such as children who dislike a bitter taste. 

Inquiries Ginseng & Organic Co., Ltd.
Tel +82-2-404-3326
Website www.insampark.com

Nolmae-Ginseng Green Farming Corporation

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Nolmae-Ginseng Green Farming Corporation (NGFC) is producing high-quality ginseng with eco-friendly microbial agricultural techniques. The method allows for the breaking down of residual insecticides and the minimum usage of agricultural pesticides and chemical fertilizers. That is why the ginseng products of NGFC boast zero agricultural chemical residues and have obtained international certifications, such as JGAP (Japan). The flagship product of NGFC is Wellbeing Ginseng Chips. The product does not have the usual bitter taste of ginseng, but is crispy and has a delicate scent.

Inquiries Nolmae-Ginseng Green Farming Corporation
Tel  +82-41-733-7981
Website www.nminsam.com


Foods that Go Well with Korean Ginseng


The combination of certain foods can double the nutrition and effects they usually have. In Korea, it is referred to as a “perfect food match.” What foods fit ginseng well? <Korea AgraFood> introduces here some of the foods that best match ginseng.

Pork

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Pork is a high-protein and high-calorie food very popular in Europe and China. The saponin of ginseng helps digestion of pork. What’s more, the bitter taste of ginseng neutralizes the smell of pork fat. Ginseng also lowers cholesterol levels and its minerals and dietary fibers make up for the shortcomings of pork.

Apple

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Apples are a remedy for the shortcoming of ginseng - a lack of vitamin C. When an apple and ginseng are blended together into a drink, the apple neutralizes the bitterness of ginseng. The juice is especially good as a morning meal.

Sea Cucumber

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Sea cucumber, an animal protein food, and ginseng, a vegetable food, complement each other well. They are combined in the healthy soup yangsamtang, renowned for its outstanding energy boosting quality. Sea cucumber helps speed up the metabolism because it is rich in calcium, iodine, and alginic acid. With the health benefits brought in by ginseng, it is no surprise that yangsamtang is better than any other tonic food.  

Honey

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The combination of ginseng and honey can boost stamina because the amount of calories in honey (300㎉ per 100g) makes up for the lack of calories in ginseng (98㎉ per 100g). The sweet taste of honey also alleviates the bitterness of ginseng. Moreover, the two foods are in harmony as a source of energy (honey) and a facilitator of the metabolism (ginseng).

관리자  agrafood@agrinet.co.kr

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