How to Make Sugar Palm Juice , Tuba

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.

0 Replies to “How to Make Sugar Palm Juice , Tuba”

  1. In your article dated Feb 2, 2010 by Marvin -” How to make palm sugar juice,tuba “. May I know the contacts of the manufacturer as in the picture.

    1. Sorry about it and sorry regarding the use of similar images. The wine is fermented further after harvest to maximize the alcohol content. The tuba is pasteurized immediately to retain the sweet alcoholic mix. The sap is collected by cutting the inflorescence and placing a container underneath. It is collected twice a day. Alcoholic fermentation starts as soon as sap drops to collecting chamber so a sweet juice without alcoholic kick is not feasible. Recently, my sister who was engaged in further studies told that ideal sap collection should be every five hours. It is ideal for both juice and sugar production.

      Our locality called the freshly harvested sap/juice as tuba. Definition might be different in other places. Here is a comment from Coco Palm Sugar to add more confusion.

      coconut = niyog
      sap = dagta
      unfermented coco sap = tinamis
      fermented coco sap, (6++ hours) = coconut toddy/wine = tuba
      week-old tuba = bahalina
      aged tuba (30++ days) = bahal
      distilled tuba = lambanog

      Please refer to this article for the whole comment, “”
      Another article with different definition, “”, based from popular tv show.

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