Overseas, carob seeds are used as a cash crop, while the discarded pods are fodder for pigs and other animals. The carob seeds are 35% gum (locust bean gum or ceratonia), which is processed and used as a gelling agent, stabiliser or emulsifier in ice-cream, yoghurts, dessert fruit filling and salads. It is also a component used in thickeners and to prevent sugar crystallisation in confectionery.
Products manufactured using the ground carob seed gum include inks, paints, textiles, oil well drilling additives, explosives, ceramics, paper, adhesives, chewing gum, pet foods and cosmetics. Oil extracted from the seeds (algaroba) is used in the pharmaceutical industry.
Carob is valued for medicinal purposes due to its high pectin and tannin contents, which are both useful for digestive ailments. The oil also contains lignans, which have many benefits including antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.
币游注册The pods, which can have a sugar content of up to 50%, can be eaten fresh when they are young and green, however they are more often harvested when mature and dark, then dried and kibbled (coarsely ground) to separate the seed from the pulp. The kibble, which is high in calcium, fibre and natural sugar, is sometimes sold as a healthy snack food or in products like trail mix, and can be used as high-energy stock feed (containing 21% protein).
币游注册The kibble may be milled or ground and sieved to produce caffeine-free carob powder, which is a natural sweetener used as a healthy substitute for cocoa powder in baking and food manufacture, as a food stabiliser, or a darkening agent. It is also used to make molasses and alcohol, and as a substitute for coffee.
币游注册Carob pods on the tree are used as supplementary stock feed for grazing stock (cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys), particularly when trees are planted in windbreaks along the edge of the paddock. The tough bark is resistant to ring-barking by grazing stock. Although carob is not a nitrogen fixing species it is quite deep rooted, and tolerates considerable drought.
Carob trees are often used in landscaping for street planting, privacy screens and as an ornamental shade tree; as well as on farms to provide windbreaks around homesteads, orchards and paddocks. The tree is fire resistant and able to regenerate after burning. In Spain carob trees were planted near villages to slow down the pace of grass fires.
A minor carob product is the moderately dense wood (carouge), which is used as a specialty furniture timber and in some cases as firewood.