24 Karat Agricultural Gem – Pt2
Easy-to-grow tree, few agricultural requirements, fruits containing innumerable benefits for treating diabetes, persistent heartburn, and obesity… The carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua, originates from the Mediterranean region, and has become the basis for many natural medical treatments and food industrial processes.
In this series of articles, we address all aspects related to the cultivation of this tree, its benefits, and the process of making carob molasses.
Fusarium – Fusarium oxysporum
• It infects the roots and causes the tree to wilt, leading to its death
• Control: irrigate the tree with Novotrite product at a rate of 50 ml per barrel
Powdery mildew – Oidium ceratoniae
• The most important diseases affecting the vegetative system
• Leaves white spots on the tissues that turn into brown spots as a result of the death of the affected tissues
• Control: using Impact pesticide at a rate of 80 ml per barrel.
• In case of severe infection: use Gatten at a rate of 50 ml per barrel.
Leaf Disease – Pseudocercospora ceratoniae
• A noticeable fungal disease on the Lebanese coast
It causes circular to irregular leaf spots (1-8 mm wide), dark brown, sometimes bordered by a narrow raised line.
• Control: using Simonil pesticide at a rate of 250 ml per barrel.
• Deals significant damage up to the loss of the entire season
• Affects carob, especially the fruits
• Control: using the pesticide Decis at a rate of 50 ml per barrel or Vantex at a rate of 80 ml per barrel
Because the pods are mildly sweet on their own, they are used in powder, flakes, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and sometimes as a substitute for chocolate in recipes because of the carob color, texture, and taste.
The production of carob gum (LBG), a thickening agent used in the food industry, is the most important economic use of carob seeds (and now the carob tree as a whole). Locust gum is used as a thickening agent and stabilizer to replace fat in low-calorie products, or as a substitute for gluten.
Chocolate contains the chemical compound theobromine at levels that are toxic to some mammals. However, carob does not contain any of these compounds while being caffeine-free. Therefore, it is becoming more and more necessary to make a chocolate-like treat for dogs.
Carob pod meal is also used as an energy-rich feed for livestock, particularly for ruminants.
Syrup and molasses
Carob pods consist of one-third to one-half sugar by weight, and this sugar can be extracted into syrup. Among the different syrups made from carob pods, we distinguish the mass of carob molasses produced in our region. Read more about the carob molasses process here.
The carob tree is widely grown in the horticultural nursery industry as an ornamental plant for Mediterranean climates and other temperate regions around the world, and is particularly popular in California and Hawaii. The plant is very drought tolerant and can be used in landscaping of gardens, parks, municipal landscaping, and general commercial landscaping.
How is Carob Molasses made? What are its main benefits? We answer these questions and more in the third and last part of the Carob Series
Part 1 – Botanical Description, Transplant, and Post Transplant Practices
Part 3 – Carob Molasses Making Process (stay tuned)