Growth of yeasts, lactic and acetic acid bacteria in palm wine during tapping and fermentation from felled oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) in Ghana

J Appl Microbiol. 2007 Feb;102(2):599-606. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.03074.x.


Aim: To investigate the microbiological and biochemical changes which occur in palm wine during the tapping of felled oil palm trees.

Methods and results: Microbiological and biochemical contents of palm wine were determined during the tapping of felled oil palm trees for 5 weeks and also during the storage. Saccharomyces cerevisiae dominated the yeast biota and was the only species isolated in the mature samples. Lactobacillus plantarum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides were the dominated lactic acid bacteria, whilst acetic acid bacteria were isolated only after the third day when levels of alcohol had become substantial. The pH, lactic and acetic acid concentrations during the tapping were among 3.5-4.0%, 0.1-0.3% and 0.2-0.4% respectively, whilst the alcohol contents of samples collected within the day were between 1.4% and 2.82%; palm wine which had accumulated over night, 3.24% to 4.75%; and palm wine held for 24 h, over 7.0%.

Conclusion: Accumulation of alcohol in palm wine occurs in three stages during the tapping and marketing with the concurrent lactic and acetic acid fermentation taking place as well.

Significance and impact of the study: Yeasts, lactic and acetic acid bacteria are all important in the fermentation of palm wine and influence the composition of the product.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / analysis
  • Agriculture*
  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Fermentation
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Ghana
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactic Acid / analysis
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / growth & development
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / isolation & purification
  • Leuconostoc / growth & development
  • Leuconostoc / isolation & purification
  • Microbiological Techniques
  • Palm Oil
  • Plant Oils*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / isolation & purification
  • Time Factors
  • Wine / microbiology*


  • Plant Oils
  • Lactic Acid
  • Palm Oil
  • Acetic Acid