A freshly harvested juice or sap from cut male flower of sugar palm is called tuba. It has a good blend of sweetness and alcoholic taste. Such characteristic is true for the freshly harvested sap. Quality never last for a day because sugar content quickly ferments to alcohol and alcohol ferments further to vinegar. Here in Philippines , vinegar is a very popular sugar palm product.
Tuba is an exotic Filipino drink. You can rarely find it in market because only few kaong harvesters know how to preserve it. The sweet delicacy is enjoyed only right after harvest.
If you desire to preserve a delectable sugar palm tuba, follow the following procedures. The process should be done immediately to prevent conversion to alcohol and vinegar.
1. Gather a freshly harvested sweet sap. The taste should be sweet with a little alcoholic flavor. Color should be white and has no distinct off odors. For commercial processing, sugar content can be adjusted to attain uniform product quality. Refractometer is a great tool for adjusting sugar content.
2. Filter the sap to remove foreign debris. Use cheesecloth or fine stainless steel wire mess.
3. Pasteurize in clean stainless steel pot at 70 degree Centigrade for 15 minutes. Pasteurization kills yeast and acetic acid bacteria that are responsible for fermentation. Boiling destroys flavors and aromas so try to avoid it .
4. Pack immediately in clean sterilized bottle and seal. Aluminum pouch packaging may be used.
The approximate shelf life is six months up to one year . Hygienic processing and good packaging may lengthen product life span.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.