The chief product of the palmyra is the sweet sap (toddy) obtained by tapping the tip of the inflorescence, as is done with the other sugar palms and, to a lesser extent, with the coconut. The sap flows for 5-6 mo – 200 days in Ceylon – each male spadix producing 4-5 l per day; the female gives 50% more than the male. The toddy ferments naturally within a few hours after sunrise and is locally popular as a beverage; it is distilled to produce the alcoholic liquor called palm wine, arrack, or arak. Rubbing the inside of the toddy-collecting receptacle with lime paste prevents fermentation, and thereafter the sap is referred to as sweet toddy, which yields concentrated or crude sugar (gur in India; jaggery in Ceylon); molasses, palm candy, and vinegar.
Palmyra palm jaggery (gur) is much more nutritious than crude cane sugar, containing 1.04% protein, 0.19% fat, 76.86% sucrose, 1.66% glucose, 3.15% total minerals, 0.861 % calcium, 0.052% phosphorus; also 11.01 mg iron per 100 g and 0.767 mg of copper per 100 g. The fresh sap is reportedly a good source of vitamin B complex.
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