Sugar Palm (Arenga westerhoutii Griff.) Seed: Nutritional Value and Product Development from Sugar Palm Seed with Quality and Safety
Sugar palm (Arenga westerhoutii Griff.) usually found in the north of Thailand especially in Nan, Uttaradit, Pitsanulok, Phrae and Kanchanaburi provinces. The seeds are a good source of beneficial nutrition for human health. A hundred grams of sugar palm seeds contain 9.77 g of carbohydrate which highly consist total dietary fiber content at 8.59 g (6.61 g of soluble dietary fiber and 1.98 g of insoluble dietary fiber) when compared to other palm families. Moreover, the sugar palm seeds can be a good source of calcium (96.51 mg/100 g) which contain low fat content (0.07 g) and provide energy at 52 kcal. Sugar palm seeds in syrup and dried form are consumed as desserts throughout Thailand. However, highly sulfur dioxide residue remaining in the products may harm consumers. Therefore, safety levels for sulfiting agent or its alternatives are needed for manufacturers to keep nutritional quality of the sugar palm products during storage and distribution processes, in addition to safety insurance to consumers. Besides, product development without chemical additives is still required for the sugar palm seeds as well as additional forms of the product presentations. These would ensure product safety and quality to customers, and bring up sugar palm seeds to a selected choice of healthy products.