Bali Turns Fermented Palm Wine ‘Arak’ Into 10,000 Bottles Of Hand Sanitizer

by Gizel Menezes
Bali Turns Fermented Palm Wine ‘Arak’ Into 10,000 Bottles Of Hand Sanitizer

We’ve all heard of the famous ‘water into wine miracle’, but the pharmacists in Bali have gone one step ahead. An ingenious way to deal with the shortage of hand sanitizers on the island, they transformed thousands of litres of fermented palm wine into sanitizers to fight the coronavirus.

Image Courtesy: The Jakarta Post

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It Was The Brainchild Of Island’s Provincial Chief Of Police

The shortage of hand sanitizers and other medical equipment is a harsh reality in many countries in the world. However, various stakeholders are stepping up to the occasion to ramp up hand sanitizer production. Provincial Chief of Police, Petrus Reinhard Golose, was alarmed when he realized that supplies of alcohol-based disinfectant were in short supply. For those left in the market, prices continued to soar high.

Golose then suggested that a means be found to transform Bali’s bountiful supply of fermented palm wine ‘arak’ into a hand sanitizer. For this, he quickly rustled up 4,000 litres of arak from local manufacturers, asking them to donate from their stocks. The police force also dipped into its own funds to buy up extra supplies.

Image Courtesy: Coconuts

The Staff At Bali’s Udayana University Were Given This Task

The Arak was then rendered by the Pharmaceutical Team at Bali’s Udayana University until it became 10,000 litres of bio hand sanitizer, that could be used against the coronavirus.

Within a week, the staff were able to achieve a standardized concentration of alcohol (96%) to meet WHO standards. To reduce hand irritation, clove oil and mint oil were added to the mixture. Apart from acting as anti-bacterial agents, the clove and mint oils give the bio hand sanitizer an aromatic scent.

“So far we’ve produced 10,600 bottles of hand sanitiser using arak and Bali police have given them out to people in need,” Dewa Ayu Swastini, head of the university’s pharmaceutical faculty, said.

The Indonesian island has reported 49 confirmed cases of the coronavirus along with 2 deaths.

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