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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Ceratonia siliqua (Carob)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > 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.