Sugar and macrominerals composition of sap produced by Raphia hookeri palms
Mature Raphia hookeri palms located in the experimental fields of the Nigerian Institute For Oil Palm Research Nigeria were selected, and tapped daily at the base of the inflorescences. The exudates (saps) were collected and the sugars and macromineral composition were determined. Maximum sucrose quantity (9.5%) was obtained about 28 days after initiation of tapping. The sucrose concentration was correlated with the sap volume. Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and nitrogen were present in the varied concentrations throughout the duration of the tapping operation. The concentration of the macrominerals were of the order of K>Mg>N>P>Na. Statistically, significant differences (P<0.05) were observed between the macrominerals detected in the various saps. Heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, selenium and lead were not detectable in the sap.