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What Is a Carob?
The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is a species of flowering evergreen shrub valued for its decorative value in gardens and its sweet edible pods.
The carob tree is a Mediterranean native, although it is commonly used in agriculture. The tree spreads widely in the Eastern Mediterranean region’s wild habitat. The carob tree grows to a height of 15 meters and is a member of the legume family.
A thick trunk supports the broad, semi-spherical crown of a carob tree. Autumn is the time of year when carob trees bloom, giving off numerous tiny blooms. Its fruits are elongated, compressed, or curved legumes, sometimes pods.
Ripe seeds frequently fall to the ground, where various animals consume them, including swine. The Bible and Talmud both make numerous references to the plant.
Carob was highly regarded due to its several applications and may be seen in Mesopotamian civilization. Carob is commonly grown as an attractive tree in the garden and for its pods. The dried or roasted seeds can be eaten immediately or processed into other forms.
The dried pods can be processed into powder in place of cocoa powder. The pleasantly sweet carob powder can be used in place of chocolate in cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. Carob pod meal is a high-energy feed for animals, especially ruminants.
The carob seed embryo is rich in protein, whereas the pulp is high in sugar and cellulose. The pulp and root can be fed to people and animals as food. Carob syrup is a traditional remedy for cough and sore throat in Malta and Cyprus.
The syrup is a calcium source as well as a sweetener. During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, carob juice is a standard beverage.
Development Of Carob
Carob trees can be grown in gardens and orchards or in the wild. Due to their poor rooting capacity, seeds are the most popular form of vegetative replication outside of orchards. First, the seeds are sown in nurseries, and then they are transplanted to the field.
At 20 to 25 years old, the carob tree reaches its bearing stage, when the yields stabilize. The part of carob farming that requires the most labor is harvesting. Harvesting is accomplished by using a long stick to knock or pluck the fruits.
It is a complex process because the harvesting is done while the tree is also in bloom. The next step is kibbling, which is the process of separating the seeds from the pulp.
Benefits Asserted For Carob
Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium are among the carob’s active ingredients. Protein, carbohydrate, and trace mineral supplies can be found in large quantities in the carob fruit.
Although there is little scientific evidence to back up, the health advantages claimed for carob, the combination of these minerals and their relatively high nutritional qualities contributes to those benefits.
Carob has traditionally been used to lessen and control diarrhea, and when combined with oral rehydration solution, it is pretty beneficial.
Additionally, carob can lower cholesterol levels. Its high fiber content helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and can increase the blood’s HDL to LDL ratio.
Since carob increases metabolism and improves digestion, it has long been used to regulate weight and is referred to as the weight reduction tonic. Carob can lower insulin levels and has been used to manage type 2 diabetes. Numerous other health advantages of carob exist.
Leading Carob-Producing Nations
According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, Spain produced almost 40,000 metric tons of carob, followed by Italy and Portugal with 30,841 and 23,000 metric tons, respectively.
Before being shipped to nations in Europe and America, carob trees are planted in Spain’s southern and eastern regions and then crushed and roasted. Carob is mainly used in Italy to create thick-textured flour to make cookies and chocolates. Greece, Morocco, Turkey, and Cyprus are the other significant producers of carob.
World’s Top Carob-Producing Countries
|Rank||Country||Production (in metric tons), 2012|