Advances in Food Science and Technology

Advances in Food Science and Technology ISSN: 6732-4215 Vol. 8 (6), pp. 001-007, June, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Review

A review of the origin, morphology, cultivation, economic products, health and physiological implications of raphia palm

F. I. Obahiagbon

Central Analytical laboratory, Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, PMB 1030, Benin City. Nigeria. E-mail: fiobahiagbon@yahoo.com.

Accepted 14 December, 2019

Abstract

Several species of the Raphia palm exists and are largely confined to tropical Africa, south of the Sahara, from sea level of about 2000m altitude. In Nigeria, it is found in the south-south geopolitical zone. It provides material for furniture, house construction, food, clothing, edible oil, and so on. Raphia palm is one of the most useful palms economically. The Raphia palm leaves are the largest amongst the palms in Africa. It produces sap which is drunk by millions of people in Africa. Over the last decade, the sap has attracted a lot of research interest. Consequently, the sap has been preserved. Useful nutrients have been detected in the sap, which could play active roles in human physiology and health. Products from the sap have been developed, which could be rehydrated and drunk like the original sap. The products could also act as sweeteners in food preparations. Increased cultivation of the palm could provide good income for small, medium and large scale farmers, as every part of the palm is useful.

Key words: Raphia palm, origin, cultivation, products, palm sap/wine, physiological.