Technically, any liquid intended for drinking is a beverage so named by a word derived from French and Latin verbs meaning ‘to drink.’ Healthy beverages are beverages with health benefits that attribute by its nutritional value. The use of healthy beverage for promoting health and relieving symptom is as old as the practice of medicine.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Palm wine

Palm wine is a fermented traditional beverage consumed in many parts of the world and well known as a white colored alcoholic drink. It is also as toddy, is the fermented sap of various palm trees especially palmyra, silver date palm and coconut palms.

The main ingredient of the fresh palm sap is sucrose, which is about 12-15% by weight. There is very little reducing sugar, although glucose, fructose, maltose and raffinose are present.

Wine tappers often climb very tall trees with rudimentary equipment to harvest palm sap and risk severe injuries in the event of a fall. Furthermore, the wine quickly ferments beyond the desired taste and alcohol content, reducing the market power of these tappers.

The palm sap is obtained through the process known as tapping, which involves a series of operations to stimulate the flow of sap, such as the perforation of the trunk, insertion of a tube in the hole and collection of the sap in a container (gourd, clay pot, plastic container, glass bottle or calabash).

Fermentation begins immediately after collection as a result of natural yeasts in the air and wine; within two hours, the alcohol content reaches approximately 4%. At this stage, the product is a sweet, white, mildly intoxicating aromatic beverage.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the main microorganism that has been identified as the responsible of the alcoholic fermentation and odorants production. On the other hand, Lactobacillus plantarum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides have been reported as the predominant LAB (lactic acid bacteria).

The drink is known by different names around the world and is regarded as a heavy suspension of yeasts in fermenting palm sap. This alcoholic beverage consumed in very large quantities in West Africa, and known throughout the major parts of Africa under various names, such as “mimbo” in Cameroon, “nsafufuo” in Ghana, an “emu” in Nigeria and “bandji” in Côte d’Ivoire.

Many factors including the species of the tree, the season of the year, time of day at harvest, and type of soil, impact the alcohol content of the wine.
Palm wine

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