Palm Wine – Its Regional Names, Tapping, Nutritional Content and Distillation

Palm wine is a popular African and Asian alcoholic beverage gotten from the sap of different palm tree species including coconut palms and date palms. The fresh palm juice is sweet, colorless, clear juice which contains 10-12 percent of neutral sugar.

Palm wine regional names:

It is called various names depending on the origin, region and people

· Oguro or emu in Nigeria,

· Nsafufuo in Ghana

· Matango in Cameroon,

· Kallu in South India,

· In Mijikenda, Kenya it is called Mnazi

· in Sabah, Borneo it is called Goribon (Rungus)

· In in North Sumatra, Indonesia it is called Tuak

· In the Philippines, Borneo and Mexico it is called Tuba

· In Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nsamba

Tapping of palm wine

Tapping is the process of collecting the wine from the tree and the person that does this task is called a tapper. Tapping can be done in two major processes: Cutting of the palm flower and Falling of the entire tree.

Cutting of the palm flower: The tapper cuts a 10-15cm from the top of the palm trunk and places a gourd below the cut to collect the sap from it. The fresh white liquid collected from the flower is very sweet and non-alcoholic at first till it is fermented.

Falling of the entire tree: The entire tree is fell to collect the sap and sometimes fire is lit to the cut end to further enhance the sap collection. The fresh unfermented sap can be refrigerated and with the addition of little lime you can prevent fermentation in it.

Nutritional content of palm wine

· amino acids

· potassium

· magnesium

· zinc

· iron

· Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6.

Fermentation in palm wine, causes and prevention

Fermentation starts immediately the sap is collected because of natural yeast in the air and pores of the pot. Within two hours of collection, the wine can be fermented to get up to four percent alcohol per volume. The longer you leave the wine to ferment the higher the alcohol content, but the more fermented the more the sweet taste turns sour.

Fermentation can be prevented by adding little lime to the wine.

Distillation of palm wine

Stronger drinks can be produced from this wine through distillation. The distillation gives different products called different names according to the region.

· Ogogoro in Nigeria

· Akpeteshi or burukutu in Ghana

· Sodabe in benin and Togo

· Lambanog in Philippines

· Lagmi in Tunisia

They are further uses and benefits of this wine, which makes it a wine to be considered.

Alicia D. Walker

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