The Pectin Contents of Sugar Palm…

I replied to her immediately saying sugar palm and coconut have no pectin or not a good source of. What was my basis? I based my quick response on similarities of fruits which are good pectin source. Known pectin rich fruits are citrus, pineapple, mangoes and other acid fruits. Sugar palm meat or kaong is not acidic as far as my reserve knowledge remembered.  However, my deduction is not accurate so I am going to check it later and update about the more accurate assessment.

Mr. Google gave me an exactly opposite result. I found a 2008 study entitled “Extraction of Pectin from Sugar Palm Meat”. It was stated that study authors were successful in extracting up to 20% of pectin using ethyl alcohol as solvent.

I got the study freely from the net, from  I am also hosting it here to help to its wider and faster distribution. Get the article here….

I forgot one important thing about kaong fruit. The sugar palm meat at its harvest maturity is becoming  a chewy gel, somewhat similar to nata de coco, when cooked. The gelling phenomenon might be contributed by high pectin content.

Research Paper – Harvesting Process For Kaong/ Irok

I was surfing the web when I accidentally saw this article. I am happy cause my name is written on research paper. We did the research when I was still working at Cavite State University. Thanks to PCARRD-DOST for publishing the research results. You can read the article below or go to PCARRD website.


Best Harvesting Process For Sugar Palm Identified

Indang, Cavite — Researchers from Cavite State University (CvSU) identified the frequency of slicing the stalk and time of harvest as control points in harvesting sugar palm (Arenga pinnata Wurmb). research paper logo

Fe Dimero, Marvin Vicedo, and Mark Mojica of CvSU conducted a study to find out the best harvesting process for sugar palm. The researchers recommend that twice a day slicing of the inflorescence trunk during collection must be practiced to maintain high volume of harvested sap.

Slicing the stalk twice a day significantly increased the volume of harvested sap compared with slicing only once a day and no tapping. The physico-chemical as well as the sensory properties of the sugar palm sap was not affected.

During collection, the researchers used three types of containers—open containers hung on the stalk, covered containers, and bamboo pipes. They found out that the collection vessel has no significant effect on the sap collected. Results indicated that incidence of contamination during harvest was very low. This means that the collection vessel is not considered as a control point.

The sap collected during the night was more acidic and had more soluble solids than the sap from the day collection. Thus, time of sap collection was considered a control point in harvesting sugar palm sap.

Based on the properties of the sugar palm sap, sap collected during the night is best for vinegar production while those collected during the day can be best used for juice, syrup, and sugar production.

Sugar palm is the source of a sweet sap, locally known as “tuba.” The sap is taken from the cut stalk of the male inflorescence by a process called tapping. This process involves slightly beating the inflorescence stalk followed by a series of stalk slicing for continuous flow of sap. Day and night collection of sap is done to ensure continuous collection.

This information was presented during the Research and Development (R&D) Symposium of the Southern Tagalog Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (STARRDEC) in Region IV held in Calapan City, Mindoro. STARRDEC is the consortium of R&D agencies in Region IV organized by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD). (Leila C. America, S&T Media Service)

How to Make Kaong Sugar, Sugar Palm


Sugar palm or kaong is abundant along river banks of Philippine archipelago. It has sweet yummy sap coming from its cut male flower. It has sugar content ranging form 10 to 20 degrees Brix. This characteristic makes it possible to process it into sugar. Kaong sugar is healthier compared to regular sugar and other substitute. It has low glycemic index (GI) of 35. Having low GI value, it is safe for diabetics. Kaong sugar can be use for coffee, tea, baking and cooking.

Low-GI foods are slow to digest and absorb. This cause gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. It was shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.

To produce kaong sugar:

1. Get freshly harvested kaong sap. The taste should be sweet, not alcoholic and not sour. Alcoholic and sour taste are results of fermentation. This occurrence will prevent you in achieving powdered kaong sugar. Color should be white, not yellow or gray. If refractometer is available, the sugar content should be between 10 to 20 degree Brix.


2. Boil the sap to evaporate the water under moderate heat with occasional stirring until the sap thickens at 115 degree centigrade.


3. Turn off the heat when it become very sticky or powdered sugar is achieved. Test can be done by scooping a small sample and cooling it immediately inside refrigerator.


4. Continue stirring until the sugar become granular. Pass through slow speed grinder to attain fine and uniform powder. High speed grinder may produce heat enough to melt and caramelize your sugar.


5. Air dry the sugar and pack. Label properly.

Depending on sugar content of harvested sugar palm sap, one kilo of sugar can be obtained from eleven liters of sap. Approximate cost of eleven liters sap is 90 pesos. However, you may spend a lot on fuel cost especially if you are using liquefied petroleum gas. Using alternative fuel such as rice hulls, corn ears and dried woods may save fuel consumption.

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.