Monday, August 31, 2020

Palm syrup

Palm honey or palm syrup is from naturally grown palm trees. Most of this syrup is locally consumed and traditionally processed as the bottled palm juice, palm wine, and palm sugar.

Its high caloric content has led to its increasing use as a health food supplement for athletes, children and elderly. Furthermore, demand for this natural syrup is continuously increasing due also to its medicinal uses in homeopathic medicine.

In the tropics, palm sap is drunk as such (fresh, or pasteurized and bottled), evaporated for palm syrup and sugar, or fermented to alcohol and vinegar. Palm sap is also a source of yeast for bread making. Fresh sap is sweet, oyster white color and translucent, with nearly neutral pH.

Palm syrup has been traditionally produced from the sap of the tropical palm tree. When palm sap is produced to palm sugar syrup, it takes approximately 6-7 parts of sap to produce 1 liter of syrup. The palm tree sap, known as “guarapo”, is collected from the palm trees in the early spring, when temperatures fluctuate between - 5 and -10 ºC.

Then it must be boiled in a large pot on a wood fired stove until it becomes concentrated. The unique flavour of this natural product develops during this evaporation process (93-110 ºC for 1.5 h). Evaporation involves removal of water by boiling, with a steam or wood fire using a stove, a pan or a metal kettle. In commercial, an open pan and a kettle are still widely used by manufactures for producing maple syrup and palm sugar syrup.

The resulting syrup is a viscous, sweet liquid, dark with reddish tones. Although this natural product has a similar density to honey, it is less sticky. Palm syrups have a good nutritional value marked by high amounts of sugars (58—75 g/100 g fresh matter basis), minerals (2.1—2.6 g/100 g fresh matter basis) and phenolics (147.61—224.55 mg of ferulic acid equivalents/kg fresh weight). Syrup also presents an antioxidant activity that appears related to total phenolic content.
Palm syrup

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