The market prefers old roots. Advanced age should result in large, thick roots if grown on a good site. Roots that are overmature (greater than 50 years) may be degraded due to senescence; however, few producers would let their roots wait for that long. The roots should have a coarse, almost corrugated surface. The market demands air dried roots that appear beige to brown in color. Resemblance to humans or parts of the human anatomy will increase the sale price. Exercise special care when harvesting to salvage all fine roots (in some markets this increases sale price). Damage in handling should be avoided. In the case of some markets where the appearance of the root is the most important characteristic, fine quality specimens sell for many times more than a similar poorly handle roots.
Assessing the quality of your roots is a monumental task. In many cases, especially when sales are to brokers, appearance may not be as important as total weight; however, with sales to buyers, ethnic markets and direct consumers, appearance may make a great deal of difference in the price offered