Sugar palm (Arenga pinnata) is a feather palm native to tropical Asia. In Vietnam, it is named Búng Báng or Đoác and grown only on the highlands in the central or northern part of Vietnam. It is utilized for many purposes, especially for Ta Vat wine production - a characteristic and unique product of Co Tu ethnic minority. However, because of the natural fermentation used in the production, the product quality is inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to examine a new procedure of using palm sap for making Ta Vat wine. Some characteristics of the sap, which was collected at Nam Giang district, Quang Nam province are determined, proving the potential of the sap for making wine product. The quality of sap changes quickly at room temperature. At low temperature (4 - 60C), the changes in sap quality are apparently slower. Examining some factors affecting its quality during the wine fermentation process, we determined the best parameters for the fermentation process as follows: inoculum size of 3% with cell density of about 1x108 cells/ml, the addition of the extract from the bark of Ceylon ironwood (Mesua ferrea L.) 4%.
Keywords: Arenga pinnata, sap, Ceylon ironwood bark, Mesua ferrea L., wine fermentation.