Effects of traditional plant preservatives on the microbial load and shelf life of palm wine

  • T E Ogbulie
  • I G Kalu
  • I J Ibe


The effect of plant preservatives on the microbial load and shelf life stability of Raphia hookeri brand of palm wine was determined. These traditional plant preservatives include Saccoglottis gabonensis, Vernonia amygdalina, Euphobia sp, Nauclea sp and Rubiacea sp. Microbial identification tests revealed the presence of Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli, Micrococcus specie and yeast identified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heterotrophic count and pH were observed to decrease with increased fermentation days. It was proved that the effect of the preservatives on the sensory properties of palm wine was dependent on the type of plant preservation used. Palm wine preserved with Vernonia amygdalina and Saccoglottis gabonensis was the best in terms of microbial inhibition and organoleptic acceptability, respectively. The level of CO 2 as well as the effect of extracts from the plant preservatives on the isolates from the palm wine samples was also investigated, with percentage loss of CO 2 for each successive fermentation day being observed.

Keywords: Plant preservatives, microbial load, shelf life, palm wine

IJOTAFS Vol. 1 (1) 2007: pp. 68-75

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1597-913X