How to preserve zobo drink

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to preserve zobo drink”, and discuss the different methods used to preserve zobo drink. 

How to preserve zobo drink 

Zobo drink can be preserved by: 

  • Refrigerating or freezing
  • Pasteurization
  • Adding natural preservatives such as limes and spices
  • Adding chemical preservatives such as sodium benzoate or magnesium sulfate
  • Using aseptic packaging

What is zobo drink

Zobo drink, also known as hibiscus tea in English, is a healthy, refreshing drink made from dried hibiscus flowers. Zobo drink originated in Nigeria and is now known worldwide for its health benefits.

The main ingredients in all zobo drink recipes include hibiscus flower petals, water, ginger and pineapple. Sugar, spices, artificial sweeteners, artificial vitamins and preservatives are sometimes added.

Zobo drink is easy to make at home but it has a very short shelf and will only last for a couple of days without proper preservation methods. The shelf-life can be prolonged by using clean water, making the zobo drink under hygienic conditions and packaging into sterilized bottles.

Preserving zobo drink by refrigerating or freezing

Refrigerating or freezing is the easiest method to preserve zobo drinks for the short term.

Refrigerating will preserve the zobo drink for a few days. Zobo drinks must be refrigerated or frozen soon after production. Both refrigerating and freezing preserves zobo drink by slowing down the growth of the microbes that cause spoilage.

Make sure to freeze the zobo drink in clean, sterilized bottles.

Refrigerating preserve zobo drink for about a week while freezing preserves it for a few months.

Preserving zobo drink by pasteurization

Pasteurization is the process of using heat to kill pathogenic microorganisms and extend the shelf-life of products.

Zobo can be pasteurized by keeping it for about 2 minutes in sterilized water, heated up to 100 °C.

The drawback of pasteurization is that it destroys most of the nutrients of zobo drink. The vitamin C content of zobo drinks is almost halved by pasteurization.

Pasteurization will preserve zobo drinks for a few weeks. If zobo drink is refrigerated or frozen after pasteurization it can be preserved for about a month.

Preserving zobo drink by adding natural preservatives

There are several recipes for making a zobo drink and most of them have at least one natural preservative such as cloves, lime, ginger and nutmeg. These ingredients have a natural antibiotic effect and reduce the growth of microorganisms. 

The most commonly used natural preservatives for zobo drinks include:

  • Lime
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon

Adding lime juice significantly increases the shelf-life of zobo drinks.  Lime juice is acidic and lowers the pH of the zobo drink. Many microorganisms cannot survive at the low pH and spoilage is reduced.

Preserving zobo drink by adding chemical preservatives

Adding chemical preservatives is the last option for preserving zobo drinks. If you are making zobo drinks for short term storage or self-consumption, always use refrigeration, freezing or natural preservatives. 

If you are producing zobo drinks for commercial sale, and cannot afford aseptic packaging, you can use a combined preservation method of pasteurization and chemical preservatives.

Chemical preservatives combined with pasteurization will preserve the zobo drink for about 40 days.

The most common chemical preservative used is sodium benzoate. A 1℅ solution of sodium benzoate can be added to preserve the zobo drink.

Another chemical preservative used in zobo drinks is magnesium sulfate mixed with citric acid. However, this chemical mixture may alter the taste of the zobo drink.

When chemically preserved zobo drinks are put up for sale, always include the preservatives in the label so that the buyers know that chemicals are present in their drinks.

Preserving zobo drink by aseptic packaging

Aseptic packaging is used to preserve commercially produced beverages. 

During aseptic packaging, the drinks are sterilized and then aseptically packed into sterile aluminum bags. 

If you are planning to produce a large number of zobo drinks for sale, this is a good preservation option. The drawback is that it is an expensive method and not worth the effort for small quantities.

Aseptic packaging preserves zobo drinks for about 4 months.

If zobo drinks are aseptically packed, no preservatives are needed.

Health benefits of zobo drink

There are numerous health benefits of zobo drinks. Some of them are:

  • Reduces the risk of hypertension
  • Reduces the risk of cholesterol
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Helps the functioning of kidneys and liver

Zobo drink is not recommended for pregnant women since it causes changes in the oestrogen levels and may cause a miscarriage.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve zobo drink”, and discussed the different methods used to preserve zobo drink. We also looked at the health benefits of the zobo drink.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.