Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Sept 16, 2018 12:00:54 GMT 1
Long before the introduction of fruit wines to Africa, Africans had been enjoying palm line and other varieties of locally produced wines and beverages.
Palm wine is a hugely popular beverage in many parts of West and Central Africa, consumed by millions of people.
Palm wine is a cloudy white drink produced from the sap of various species of palm trees such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms which are abundant in Africa.
It is locally extracted by a ‘tapper'. The quantity of sap that can be taken from one palm tree depends on the mode of extraction, the palm species, season and the fertility of the soil.
Freshly collected palm wine is very sweet and non-alcoholic. However, fermentation begins naturally and immediately after collection. As time progresses, the wine becomes more alcoholic and has some sourness and acidity to it. Palm sap begins fermenting immediately after collection, due to natural yeasts in the air (often spurred by residual yeast left in the collecting container). Within two hours, fermentation yields an aromatic wine of up to 4% alcohol content, mildly
intoxicating and sweet. The wine may be allowed to ferment longer, up to a day, to yield a stronger, more sour and acidic taste, which some people prefer. Longer fermentation produces vinegar instead of stronger wine.
Palm wine can also be distilled to produce strong and highly alcoholic gins both locally and internationally which provides a wide demand for it. The production cannot even meet up to 10% of millions of demand across Africa and the world. In Nigeria, the gin produced from palm wine is popularly called Ogogoro.
The benefits of palm wine include:
- It can be used as preservative: Local Gin prepared from Palm wine contains a considerable amount of Ethanol. Ethanol is a reputable Food Preservative and Agent of Sterilization.
- Palm wine promotes lactation: it stimulates the production of breast milk.
- Palm wine improves eyesight: Palm wine contains the antioxidant Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which is also found in other fruits and vegetables and Vitamin B1 (thiamine) which helps in improving our vision. This is why it is thought that people who live or lived in the village have better eyesight because palm wine is their beverage.
- Palm wine can help fight against cancer: Palm wine contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Riboflavin is an antioxidant that fights against some cancer causing agents called free radicals.
- Palm wine helps to maintin a healthy hair, skin and nails: The Iron and vitamin B complex found in palm wine are needed for a healthy skin, hair and nail. This also helps in promoting wound healing by repairing our tissues and promoting the growth of healthy cells.
Palm wine has a lovely presence and tastes nice something between beer and wine. It should however be consumed in moderation as too much consumption of palm wine may damage the liver or cause drowsiness when it is fermented.
Palm wine production by small holders and individual farmers may promote conservation, as palm trees become a source of regular income that may improve the economy.
Fortunately, palm wine can be successfully transformed into a commercial success and be exported to customers in the US and Europe.
This local wine has the potentials of big business in Nigeria and abroad. Have you ever thought of exporting palm wine? You can make millions investing in palm wine business.
A preservation method for palm-wine has been perfected locally to ease the processing. It involves pasteurizing and bottling of the palm-wine, which increases its shell-life to over six months. This method of palm-wine preservation makes it more hygienic and consequently more attractive to the city dwellers. The equipment required is simple to operate and is fabricated locally.
Apart from the large market already existing internally there is a good prospect of the bottled palm-wine being exported to foreign countries, as it is being done already by a few people. The investor and the country therefore have the chance of earning hard currency from the sales of bottled palm-wine abroad.
Investing in palm wine as a commercial venture will provide employment for the rural people and raise their standard of living and as well enrich the pocket of the investor.