Ceratonia siliqua - Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core

Ceratonia siliqua – Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core

Ceratonia siliqua, generally generally known as the carob tree, St John’s-bread,[1] or locust bean[2] (to not be confused with the African locust bean) is a species of flowering evergreen shrub or tree within the pea household, Fabaceae. It’s extensively cultivated for its edible pods, and as a decorative tree in gardens. The ripe, dried pod is usually floor to carob powder, which is used to interchange cocoa powder. Carob bars, a substitute for chocolate bars, are sometimes accessible in health-food shops.

The carob tree is native to the Mediterranean area, together with Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the bigger Mediterranean islands; to the Levant and Center-East of Western Asia into Iran; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia.[3][4] The phrase carat, a unit of mass for gem stones and a unit of purity for gold alloys, was presumably derived from the Greek phrase kerátion actually which means a small horn, and refers back to the carob seed as a unit of weight.

Carob tree


The Ceratonia siliqua tree grows as much as 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk with brown tough bark and durable branches. Leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) lengthy, alternate, pinnate, and will or might not have a terminal leaflet. It’s frost-tolerant to roughly 20 levels F.

Most carob bushes are dioecious, some are hermaphrodite. The male bushes do not produce fruit.[5] The bushes blossom in autumn. The flowers are small and quite a few, spirally organized alongside the inflorescence axis in catkin-like racemes borne on spurs from outdated wooden and even on the trunk (cauliflory); they’re pollinated by each wind and bugs.

The fruit is a legume (additionally recognized much less precisely as a pod), that may be elongated, compressed, straight or curved, and thickened on the sutures. The pods take a full yr to develop and ripen. The candy ripe pods finally fall to the bottom and are eaten by varied mammals, thereby dispersing the exhausting seed. The seeds comprise leucodelphinidin, a colourless chemical compound.[6]


Carob tree in Sardinia, Italy

Though used extensively for agriculture, carob can nonetheless be discovered rising wild in jap Mediterranean areas, and has develop into naturalized within the west.[7]

The tree is typical within the southern Portuguese area of the Algarve, the place it has the identify alfarrobeira (for the tree), and alfarroba (for the fruit), in addition to in southern Spain (Spanish: algarrobo, algarroba), Catalonia and Valencia (Catalan: garrofer, garrofa), Malta (Maltese: Ħarruba), on the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia (Italian: carrubo, carruba), Croatian islands close to Break up, and in Southern Greece, Cyprus, in addition to on many Greek islands resembling Crete and Samos. The widespread Greek identify is (Greek: χαρουπιά, charoupia), or (Greek: ξυλοκερατιά, ksilokeratia), which means “picket horn”.

In Turkey, it is called “keçiboynuzu”, which means “goat’s horn”. In Israel it is referred to as “Haroov” (חרוב),generally known as “life saving tree – kav kharoovin”.[7][8] The varied bushes generally known as algarrobo in Latin America (Albizia saman in Cuba and 4 species of Prosopis in Argentina and Paraguay) belong to a distinct subfamily, Mimosoideae.


Ceratonia siliqua, ripe carob fruit pods

The carob genus, Ceratonia, belongs to the Fabaceae (legume) household, and is believed to be an archaic remnant of part of this household now typically thought of extinct. It grows effectively in heat temperate and subtropical areas, and tolerates scorching and humid coastal areas. As a xerophyte (drought-resistant) species, carob is effectively tailored to the ecological situations of the Mediterranean area with 250 to 500 mm of rainfall per yr.[7]

Carob bushes can survive lengthy drought durations however to develop fruit they want 500 to 550 mm rainfall per yr.[7] Bushes want well-drained, sandy loams and are illiberal of waterlogging, however the deep root programs can adapt to all kinds of soil situations and are pretty salt-tolerant (as much as 3% NaCl in soil).[7] After irrigation with saline water in summer season carob bushes might presumably additionally recuperate throughout rainfalls in winter.[9] In some experiments younger carob bushes might uphold basical physiological features at 40 mmol NaCl/L.[9]

Not all legume species can develop a symbiosis with Rhizobia to make use of atmospheric nitrogen. For carob it stays unclear if it has this skill: Some findings counsel that it isn’t capable of type nodules with Rhizobia [7] whereas in one other examine bushes have been recognized extra just lately with nodules containing micro organism believed to be from the Rhizobium genus.[10] Nevertheless measuring the 15N-signal in plant tissue didn’t help that carob bushes within the subject can use atmospheric nitrogen.[11]

Makes use of


Chocolate chip cookies with carob powder as a substitute of cocoa powder

Carob beetroot vegan cake with agar bunnies

Carob consumed by people is the dried (and generally roasted) pod. The pod consists of two major components: the pulp accounts for 90% and the seeds for 10% of the pod weight.[7][12]

Carob is mildly candy and is utilized in powdered, chip or syrup type as an ingredient in desserts and cookies, and as an alternative to chocolate. Carob bars are extensively accessible in well being meals shops. A standard candy, eaten throughout Lent and Good Friday, can also be constituted of carob pods in Malta. Dried carob fruit is historically eaten on the Jewish vacation of Tu Bishvat.

Whereas chocolate accommodates ranges of theobromine that are poisonous to some mammals, carob accommodates considerably much less caffeine and theobromine, and is due to this fact used to make chocolate-flavored treats for canine. [13][14]

Carob pod meal is used as an energy-rich feed for livestock, notably for ruminants, although its excessive tannin content material might restrict its use.[15] Carob pods had been primarily used as animal fodder within the Maltese Islands, other than instances of famine or battle after they shaped a part of the weight loss program of many Maltese. Within the Iberian Peninsula, carob pods had been used to feed donkeys.

The pulp is about 48–56% sugars and 18% cellulose and hemicellulose.[7] There are some variations in sugar content material between wild and cultivated sorts: sucrose = c. 531 g/kg dry weight in cultivated varieties and c. 437 g/kg in wild varieties. Fructose and glucose ranges don’t differ between cultivated and wild carob.[16] Carob pulp is offered as flour or chunks.[12]

The manufacturing of locust bean gum (LBG), a thickening agent used within the meals trade, is the economically most essential use of carob seeds (and these days of the carob as a complete). It’s produced from the endosperm, which accounts for 42–46% of the seed and is wealthy in galactomannans (88% of endosperm dry mass). For 1 kg LBG 3 kg of kernels are wanted which come from roughly 30 kg carob tree fruit. Galactomannans are hydrophilic and swell in water. LBG is used as a thickening agent, stabilizer, gelling agent or as an alternative to gluten in low-calorie-products. If galactomannans are blended with different gelling substances like carrageenan they can be utilized to thicken meals. That is used extensively in canned meals for animals to get the jellied texture.[12]

The embryo (20-25% of the seed’s weight) is wealthy in proteins (50%) and its flour can be utilized in human and animal diet.[7] The testa (30–33% of the seed’s weight) is the seed coat and consists of cellulose, lignin and tannin.[12]

Syrup, drinks

In Cyprus, carob syrup is called Cyprus’s black gold, and is extensively exported. In Malta, a syrup (ġulepp tal-ħarrub) is made out of carob pods. This can be a conventional medication for coughs and sore throat. Carob syrup can also be utilized in Crete, Greece, as a pure sweetener, and is taken into account a pure supply of calcium. It accommodates 3 times extra calcium than milk. Additionally it is wealthy in iron, phosphorus and pure fibers (Attributable to its robust style, it may be discovered blended with orange or chocolate).[17]

Carob juice drinks are historically drunk throughout the Islamic month of Ramadan. Crushed pods could also be used to make a beverage; compote, liqueur, and syrup are constituted of carob in Turkey, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sicily. A number of research counsel that carob might support in treating diarrhea in infants.[18] In Libya, carob syrup (there referred to as rub) is used as a complement to Asida. The so-called carob syrup made in Peru is definitely from the fruit of the Prosopis nigra tree.


Ceratonia siliqua is extensively cultivated within the horticultural nursery trade as a decorative plant for planting in Mediterranean local weather and different temperate areas world wide, as its reputation in California and Hawaii exhibits. The plant develops a sculpted trunk and decorative tree type when ‘limbed up’ because it matures, in any other case it’s used as a dense and enormous screening hedge. If one doesn’t care in regards to the dimension of the legume harvests the plant could be very drought tolerant, and it’s utilized in ‘xeriscape’ panorama design for gardens, parks, and public municipal and industrial landscapes.[3]


Map of cultivated carobs’ crop volumes within the Mediterranean international locations.

In line with FAO, the highest carob producing international locations are (in metric tonnes, 2012): Supply: UN Meals & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)[19]

  1.  Spain 40,000 (F)
  2.  Italy 30,841
  3.  Portugal 23,000 (F)
  4.  Greece 22,000 (F)
  5.  Morocco 20,500 (F)
  6.  Turkey 14,218
  7.  Cyprus 5,186
  8.  Algeria 3,136
  9.  Lebanon 2,300 (F)

(F) = FAO estimate

Cultivation and orchard administration

The vegetative propagation of carob is restricted on account of its low adventitious rooting potential, which may very well be improved through the use of higher grafting-techniques resembling air-laying.[20] Subsequently, seeds are nonetheless extensively used because the propagation medium. The sowing happens in pot nurseries in early spring and the cooling- and drying-sensitive seedlings are then transplanted to the sector within the subsequent yr after the final frost. Carob bushes enter slowly into manufacturing part. The place in areas with good rising situations the cropping begins 3–Four years after budding, the nonbearing interval can take as much as Eight years in areas with marginal soils. Full bearing of the bushes happens principally at a tree-age of 20–25 years the place the yield stabilizes.[7] The orchards are historically planted in low densities of about 25–45 bushes/hectare. Hermaphrodite vegetation or male bushes, which produce no or fewer pods respectively, are often planted in decrease densities within the orchards as pollenizer.

Intercropping with different tree species is extensively unfold. There’s not a lot cultivation administration required. Solely mild pruning and occasional tilling to scale back weeds is important. Nitrogen-fertilizing of the vegetation has been proven to have constructive impacts on yielding-performance.[7] Though it’s native to reasonably dry climates, two or three summers irrigation will enormously support the event, hasten the fruiting, and enhance the yield of a carob tree.”[21]

Harvest and post-harvest therapy

Probably the most labour-intensive a part of carob cultivation is harvesting which is usually finished by knocking the fruit down with a protracted stick and gathering them along with the assistance of laid out nets. This can be a delicate activity as a result of the bushes are flowering on the identical time and care must be taken to not injury the flowers and the subsequent yr’s crop. The literature recommends analysis to get the fruit to ripen extra uniformely or additionally for cultivars which could be mechanically harvested (by shaking).[7]

After harvest carob pods have a moisture content material of 10–20% and needs to be dried right down to a moisture content material of 8% so the pods do not rot. Additional processing separates the kernels (seeds) from the pulp. This course of is known as kibbling and leads to seeds and items of carob pods (kibbles). Processing of the pulp consists of grinding for animal feed manufacturing or roasting and milling for human meals trade. The seeds must be peeled which occurs with acid or by means of roasting. Then the endosperm and the embryo are separated for the completely different makes use of.[7]

Pests and ailments

There are solely few pests recognized to trigger extreme injury in carob orchards due to this fact it has historically not been handled with pesticides. Some generalist pests just like the larva of the leopard moth (Zeuzera pyrina L.), small rodents like rats (Rattus spp.) and gophers (Pitymys spp.) could cause injury often in some areas. Just some cultivars are severely prone to mildew illness (Oidium ceratoniae C.). One pest straight related to carobs is the larva of the carob moth (Myelois ceratoniae Z.) which might trigger in depth post-harvest-damage.[7]

Cultivars and breeding goals

Many of the roughly 50 recognized cultivars[7] are of unknown origin and solely regionally distributed. The cultivars present excessive genetic and due to this fact morphological and agronomical variation.[7] No standard breeding by managed crossing has been reported however there was finished choice from orchards or wild populations. Domesticated carobs (var. edulis) could be distinguished from their wild relations (var. silvestris) by some fruit-yielding traits like constructing of better beans, extra pulp and better sugar contents. Additionally there was an genetic adoption of some varieties to the climatic necessities of their growing-regions.[7] Although there was {a partially} profitable breaking of the dioecy, the yield of hermaphroditic bushes nonetheless cannot compete with that of feminine vegetation as their pod-bearing properties are worse.[22] Future breeding could be centered on processing-quality-aspects in addition to on properties for higher mechanization of harvest or higher yielding hermaphroditic vegetation. Using fashionable breeding strategies is restricted on account of low polymorphism for molecular markers.[7]

Etymology and historical past

The phrase carob comes from Center French carobe (fashionable French caroube). It might have come from the Historical Greek the place the seeds had been used as items of weight (karat) or is alleged to be taken into Europe from Arabic خَرُّوبٌ (kharrūb, “locust bean pod”), which derives from Akkadian language ;;kharubu;;.[23]Ceratonia siliqua, the scientific identify of the carob tree, derives from the Greek kerátiοn (κεράτιον), “fruit of the carob” (from keras [κέρας] “horn”), and Latin siliqua “pod, carob.” The time period “carat”, the unit by which treasured steel and stone weight is measured, can also be derived from the Greek phrase kerátiοn (κεράτιον), alluding to an historical observe of weighing gold and gem stones in opposition to the seeds of the carob tree by individuals within the Center East. The system was finally standardized, and one carat was mounted at 0.2 grams.

Carob was eaten in Historical Egypt. It was additionally a typical sweetener and was used within the hieroglyph for “candy” (nedjem):


In late Roman instances, the pure gold coin generally known as the solidus weighed 24 carat seeds (about 4.5 grams). Consequently, the carat additionally turned a measure of purity for gold. Thus 24-carat gold means 100% pure, 12-carat gold means the alloy accommodates 50% gold, and so forth.[24]

Subsistence on carob pods is talked about within the Talmud: Berakhot reviews that Rabbi Haninah subsisted on carob pods.[25] It’s most likely additionally talked about within the New Testomony, wherein Matthew 3:Four reviews that John the Baptist subsisted on “locusts and wild honey”; the Greek phrase translated “locusts” might confer with carob pods, quite than to grasshoppers.[25] Once more, in Luke 15:16, within the Parable of the Prodigal Son, when the Prodigal Son is within the subject in non secular and social poverty, he needs to eat the pods that he’s feeding to the swine as a result of he’s affected by hunger. Using the carob throughout a famine is probably going a results of the carob tree’s resilience to the tough local weather and drought. Throughout a famine, the swine got carob pods in order that they might not be a burden on the farmer’s restricted assets.

Use of the carob plant dates again to Mesopotamian tradition (modern-day Iraq). The carob pods had been used to create juices, sweets, and had been extremely prized on account of their many makes use of. The carob tree is talked about ceaselessly in texts relationship again 1000’s of years, outlining its progress and cultivation within the Center East and North Africa. The carob tree is talked about with reverence in “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, one of many earliest works of literature in existence.

The Jewish Talmud includes a parable of altruism, generally generally known as “Honi and the Carob Tree”, which mentions {that a} carob tree takes 70 years to bear fruit; which means that the planter won’t profit from his work, however works within the curiosity of future generations.[26] In actuality, the fruiting age of carob bushes varies (see underneath cultivation).

In the course of the Second World Conflict, the individuals of Malta generally ate dried carob pods and prickly pears as a complement to rationed meals.


See additionally

  • Ratti (a seed from which the Indian measure unit “tola” derived)


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  5. Candy Crop Broadcast: 14/04/2013 1:11:16 PM Reporter: Prue Adams
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  12. Rainer Droste (1993). Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Anbaus von Johannisbrot (Ceratonia siliqua L.) als Bestandteil eines traditionellen Anbausystems in Algarve, Portugal. Institut für Pflanzenbau und Tierhygiene in den Tropen und Subtropen, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.
  13. Craig, Winston J.; Nguyen, Thuy T. (1984). “Caffeine and theobromine ranges in cocoa and carob merchandise”. Journal of Meals Science. 49 (1): 302–303, 305. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1984.tb13737.x. Retrieved 2015-07-12. Imply theobromine and caffeine ranges respectively, had been 0.695 mg/g and 0.071 mg/g in cocoa cereals; 1.47 mg/g and 0.152 mg/g in chocolate bakery merchandise; 1.95 mg/g and 0.138 mg/g in chocolate toppings; 2.66 mg/g and 0.208 mg/g in cocoa drinks; 0.621 mg/g and 0.032 mg/g in chocolate ice lotions; 0.226 mg/g and 0.011 mg/g in chocolate milks; 74.Eight mg/serving and 6.5 mg/serving in chocolate puddings…. Theobromine and caffeine ranges in carob merchandise ranged from 0-0.504 mg/g and 0-0.067 mg/g, respectively.
  14. Barbara Burg, Good Treats For Canines Cookbook for Canines: 50 House-Cooked Treats for Particular Events. Quarry Books, 2007, p. 28; C. J. Puotinen, The Encyclopedia of Pure Pet Care, McGraw Hill Skilled, 2000, p. 81.
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  17. Maria T. (19 June 2015). “Bioaroma carob Syrup – preferrred for sugar replacement-osteoporosis-weight loss”. CretanSoil – finest pure merchandise.
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  19. “Main Meals And Agricultural Commodities And Producers – Nations By Commodity”. Fao.org. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
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