Ceratonia siliqua (Carob)
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Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids >
Eurosid I > Fabales > Family: Fabaceae > Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
This tree grows to about 15 m in height and
originates as a cultivated species from the Arabian Peninsula. It is
grown from seed in many parts of the world. The pods have up to 50%
sugar and are ground up into a flour that is used as a chocolate
substitute in candy bars. There are more minerals and vitamins, less
fat and few calories in carob powder than chocolate powder of the
same weight. Gum, termed 'tragasol', is extracted from the seeds and
used as a thickner and stabiliser in food products such as ice
cream, salad dressings, mustard sauces, processed meats and cheeses.
This gum also has cosmetic, pharmacological and industrial uses.
van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World -
Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.