Carob Products & Processing

Increasing Australian usage of tree Lucerne (tagasaste) and lupins, both with higher protein content for livestock than oats or barley, points to the continuing need for carob pods as a complementary feedstock.

Carob is especially useful for all livestock during drought and lambing times, as well as for horses because of it being a ‘cool feed’ in contrast to Lucerne alfalfa. The chemical composition of carob pods differs with source, variety and season – total sugars range from 37% – 57%, crude protein from 2% – 7%, and crude fibre from 5% – 10%. Pods also contain up to about 2% crude fat and 3% tannin by weight. Total sugars consist of about 75% sucrose along with glucose, fructose and maltose in the ratio of 5:1:1:0.7. This is not significantly different to sugar beets or sugar cane.

The percentage of total sugars in the pods increases as they dry and mature. A rise of 20% – 50% dry weight total sugars occurs simultaneously with a decrease in moisture content from 80% – 15% fresh weight. The increase in total sugars begins after pod elongation ceases and corresponds with hot, dry weather during the late summer / autumn ripening period.

Improvements in Australian processing of carob pods into kibble (for livestock & pet feeds), powder and syrup (for human food) provide new income-earning options. A lesser-known sugar called Pinatol has been identified in carob with potential pharmaceutical and sporting benefits.

To process carob pods into kibble, powder or syrup contact:

Carobs r Us (ph 0418 556 549 and matchgs@optusnet.com.au)

Australian Carobs Pty Ltd (ph 08-88-932-283 and auscarob@bigpond.com).

Contact Carobs Australia for more details