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This work shows how to identify the various microorganism in palm wine and how to isolate the pathogenic organism in palm wine vie Nkwuenu and the attributes were identification of bacteria and yeasts in fresh palm wine sample gave rise to the isolation of eight bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus spp, Micrococcus luteus, Serratia marcessens, Acetobacter spp, Bacillus and Streptococcus spp and four yeasts: Candida spp, Saccharomyces uvarum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

The total bacterial count was in the range 6.08 x 103-3.48 x 103CFU/ml and the bacterial counts between 24-120 hrs of fermentation were not significantly different from the bacterial count in 0hr (fresh; P<0.05). Total coliform count was in the range 4.60 x 103 0 CFU/ml. There was an initial rise in total yeasts counts after 24hrs (7.38 x 103- 8.22 x 103CFU/ml) and then a gradual decrease to 4.10 x 103 CFU/ml. The yeast count after 120 hrs of fermentation was significantly different (P<0.05) from counts between 0-72hrs. The growth and survival pattern of the bacteria isolates from 0-120hrs showed that S. aureus was eliminated from the samples after 24hrs of growth while E. coli, M. luteus, Lactobacillus spp and Streptococcus spp were eliminated after 48hrs of growth. Serratia marcesens did not survive beyond 72hrs of fermentation while Bacillus and Acetobacter spp were present till the end of the fermentation. S. cerevisiae, S. uvarum and S. pombe survived from 0-120hrs of fermentation while Candida spp was eliminated after 48hrs of growth. All the physicochemical parameters tested varied with respect to time. The pH values decreased from 6.8 -3.8. Fermentation temperature dropped from 25oC to 21.5oC after 24hrs and then fluctuated between 21.4oC-21.5oC till the end of the fermentation. The alcohol values of the palm wine samples increased steadily (1.6% v/v-15.10% v/v) from 0-120hrs of fermentation. There was a gradual increase in the moisture level (96.49% - 97.55%) as fermentation progressed. Bacterial and fungal pathogens which were present from the beginning of the fermentation as handling and processing contaminants were eliminated after some hours as fermentation progressed.




        Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage that is very popular among Africans and Nigeria in particular. It is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of sugar and other fermentable materials in palm sap. The major sources of palm wine in Nigeria are eraesis guineensis thesis and raphia palm raphia hooken (Okafor, 1987).

        Palm wine is usually a whitish sugary liquid, which is effervescent because the microbes causing the fermentation are alive when it is consumed. Among the land plants, the palm is very distinguished. It has a columar stem whose height range is usually between 30-50 feet (9 – 15 meters) high. The stem is crowned with giant leaves which are entire and folder fan at first, but usually the blade splits into segments and in some genera, the segments develop into independent leaves lets the inflorescence is a spike or much branched at first usually enveloped in one  or more conspicuous sheathing breaks. It manifests itself in more than two thousand species and several hundred of genera.

        Elaesis guineensis is a sources of palm kernels, palm oil, palm wine and brooms in rural areas of southern Nigeria and west African in general. Palm are found in the meadows, stepper, and deserts on the mountains and all though the tropical and sub tropical forests of West Africa (faparsus, 1973).      

        Okafor, (1977) reported the following genera of bacteria in palm wine such as lactobacillus, savina, corynbacterium, leuconostoc, and yeast so far reported as being present included saccharomyces pasturianius, s. ellipsordeus, s. cerevisae, s. markie etc. it is noted that the sources of this micerboes is from when the palm sap enter the calabash, it ferments spontaneously by the activities of their microbes (yeast and bacteria) which find their way into the palm sap from old palm wine crust present in the calabash, other sources of these microbes includes the tapper’s Knife, the Bamboo, funnel through which the sap drips, the air and bark of male inflorescence.


        Bacteria are found in palm wine some of this bacteria are lactobacillus, streptococcus, candida, spp, pichia spp etc in different palm wine shops at Udi Local Government  Area of Enugu state. For palm wine sellers, palm wine are kept uncovered from the time they finish selling it. Such exposure can allow the growth of microorganism in the palm wine. When it is  been consumed this can cause vomiting, fever, stomach problem etc.

        Thus, this problem lies at the unhygienic and poor preservation of the palm wine tapers and dealers.


Aim: Bacteriological examination of palm wine

  1.  To identify the various microorganisms in palm wine
  2. To isolate the pathogenic organisms.


H0:    The microbes found in palm wine are only yeast and bacteria.

H1:    The microbes found in palm wine are not only yeast and bacteria.


        This is to bring to the knowledge of the general public that palm wine contains microbes; these microbes can be from the bamboo, funnel, and tapers knife etc that is mostly common when they are stored at low temperature.

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