Finding a new solution for the nipa palm tree

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Nipa fruticans seemed to be just a fruit tree used as a usual beverage with not much economic value. However, the students of Tra Vinh University have found a new solution for this plant.

Nguyen Ba Loc and members of the team developing the project “Bottled nectar of nipa”

Promises to increase the value of specialties in the river region

With the desire to create products for health care, a group of students from Tra Vinh University has researched and launched a bottled beverage product made from the nectar of the nipa palm tree.

The research group includes Nguyen Ba Loc and Ngo Phuoc Loc, students of the Bachelor of Chemical Technology and Engineering majoring in Application of Flexible Slimes and Nanomaterials, course 2017; Lam Thi Ngoc Yen, a student of the 2018 Business Administration class; Ho Thi Thien Thanh, a student of the 2017 English Language class.

Sharing about the process of forming the idea, Nguyen Ba Loc, the leader said: “My Long Bac commune, Cau Ngang district, Tra Vinh province is a fertile agricultural land, located along the Tien River that creates favorable conditions for the development of nipa palm tree. But the residents have not known the economic value that nipa palm brings. During studying at Tra Vinh University with a passion for start-up, Loc realizes that nipa palm has many values ​​from nipa palm fruit, its leaves, even nectar of nipa palm that brings the most economic value if exploited effectively.

Products rich in nutritional value

“Bottled nectar of nipa” product

Ms. Lam Thi Ngoc Yen, a member of the research team said: Bottled of nipa palm nectar is a clean product, source original from nature, do not use chemicals, preservatives in the production process. The product is made with a capacity of 330ml per bottle. The product is suitable for use as a sweetener for people with type 2 diabetes, to prevent overweight, obesity, and contains many healthy antioxidant compounds.

The process of producing bottled nectar consists of the selection from the size of the fruit, the development of the fruit cluster, followed by a massage for 20 days, and finally, the processing of honey. After being collected, nectar needs to go through the process of mistaken filtration to remove impurities and put it into the circulation heating system, boil for 1 hour at 90oC on the Magnetic stirrer machine with a stirring speed of 300 rpm. Then, the nectar is mingled with the flesh of nipa fruits. Finally, the product is the last sterilization before bringing to the market.

In the future product development orientation, the research team wants the product “Bottled nectar of nipa” to be the foundation for producing other products from the nipa palm such as nipa jam, handicraft products from nipa palm, supply for domestic and foreign markets.

Combine development business models with local ecotourism, this is a new development direction with great potential. Solve the problem of redundancy of local labor resources, meet employment needs, and increase income for households.

The products also contribute significantly to raising awareness to protect mangrove forests, nipa palms forests along rivers and coastal areas, and limit soil erosion and landslides.

Mr. Nguyen Van Vu An, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Youth Union, Director of the Youth Start-up Support Center of TVU said: “This is a project with innovative ideas, high feasibility, benefit the community. To its focus use as a refreshment, the product also has much nutritional value in terms of health. This project is one of two TVU student projects in the top 50 of the SV – STARTUP 2020 competition organized by the Ministry of Education and Training”.

According to research conducted in the laboratory by the Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology of the University of Malaysia Sarawak in Malaysia and the results reported by the Institute of Nutrition and Food Research under the Faculty of Technology and Food in the Philippines, currently, on volunteers, nectar is suitable for use as an alternative a sweetener for people with type 2 diabetes, prevention of overweight, obesity (by an average glycemic index of 50-60/100 compared to refined sugar). It contains many healthful antioxidant compounds. High anti-diabetes properties equivalent to synthetic drugs (drugs Acarbose) used for people with diabetes before eating. High antioxidant properties are compared equivalently to Vitamin C.

Ngoc Thu