Making palm starch. Arenga pinnata is a multipurpose plant. They have been used for food, medicine and building materials that ranging from leaves to roots for centuries. This is one of the best source for organic palm sugar. Furtheremore their trunk that containing quintessence is also used for palm starch. By cutting down the productive trees about 15-25 years old the flour are used to make a variety of foods . The stem who had passed those ideal age is no longer productive and cut down just for timber.
Arenga Indonesia actually doesn’t support the logging practices. By waiting such a long it is really too bad if they are only producing one in a lifetime. It is different case if we use of their nectar for making sugar or harvest the young fruit for kolang-kaling, they could produce up to 40 years.
But farmers have their own reasons to did that. Because they only cut down the trees
of which could not produce any nectar or either because the location is too difficult to reach. And they also replant as many palm trees have been cut down to ensure the continuity of their population.
So the trees that do not drain any nectar or too difficult to be reached will be cut down by the owner for making palm starch. Or they sell it to manufacturers who specializes in flour processing.
How to Make Palm Starch
Drying Palm Flour
Making palm starch star by cutting and splitting the palm stems up along 1.5 – 2 meters and followed by peeling the hard outer shell wich is called Ruyung in Indonesia. By leaving just the white inner skin if we won’t processed right off the logs will soaked in water to preserve their flour inside.
Those splited apart logs were showed their white pith (the part that contains the quintessence) would be grated to separate the flour with the fibers. The separation process was carried in a sieve with flowing water over it. Starch that escapes from the sieve accommodated in a large cement tub while the fibers is removed for other purposes.
After a while the flour would settle at the buttom of the tub. Once considered enough then water in the tub is discarded. They need to wash a few more times to completely clean the starch.Now we will find the redish white flour at the bottom of the tub. They will be taken to the mill for further processing until finally ready for the market wich are namely white and dried palm starch.