How to Make Herb-Flavored Sugar Palm Juice, Kaong/Irok

Kaong sap can be processed to delectable juice with different herb as flavoring.  Joan Napili used four different type of herbs: anise, basil, pandan and tarragon. Here are the details of her simple technology:

Pasteurization. Freshly harvested sugar palm sap was filtered through cotton to remove foreign materials or impurities such as dirt, sand, insects, tiny twigs or leaf fragments. The filtered fresh sap was pasteurized at 75 oC for 15 min in a stainless steel saucepan to prevent further fermentation. Foams that float on the sap on heating were removed using a wooden ladle.

Preparation of Herb Extracts. Herb extracts were prepared using infusion method. Twenty grams each of fresh anise, basil, pandan, tarragon and rosemary were boiled separately in 250 ml of water for ten minutes. Each herb extract was filtered, placed in a tightly sealed container and was stored in the refrigerator until needed.

Juice Formulation and Standardization. The filtered sap was heated using a double broiler at a temperature of 75 0C to concentrate the sap and raise the sugar content of the sap to 16 0B for 4 hr. Total titratable acid was adjusted to 0.8 + 0.02 and pH was standardized to 4 + 0.5 before adding the herb extracts.

Blending and Flavoring. Anise, basil, pandan and tarragon were added separately using three percent by volume combination. Since rosemary is pungently aromatic (Grieve, 2004), it was added at two percent by volume.

Filling. The different herb-flavored kaong juices were packed manually into 200 ml aluminum pouches. The filled juice was pasteurized for 30 minutes at 75 0C on water bath. The filed pouches were sealed immediately.


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.

4 Replies to “How to Make Herb-Flavored Sugar Palm Juice, Kaong/Irok”

    1. It may start to ferment again after few days if contaminated with wild yeast. Palm sap is a good fermentation media. Refrigeration can significantly lengthen the shelf life up more than one month without fermentation.

      A properly pasteurized sap packed in a sterilized and tightly sealed glass bottle gonna last from six months to one year depending on storage condition. Longer shelf life can be attained through refrigeration.

  1. Good Day! I am a senior Food Tech student and i want to make a research about Sugar Palm juice. is there any suggestions that you can give ?

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