Carob beans are the fruit of the carob tree, which is native to the Mediterranean region. The trees, some of which are several centuries old, are cultivated by farmers. They bloom in October and November.
The pods are harvested from September of the following year. Using farmers’ cooperatives, the pods are sold to the “kibblers”, who separate the seeds from the pulp. With a sugar content of more than 50%, the pulp is used mainly as animal feed.
The seeds are shelled by the carob bean gum manufacturers and the endosperms are separated from the seedlings.
The gum obtained from the seedlings is used mainly as protein in animal feed. A milling process creates carob bean gum from the endosperms.
About 35% galactomannan can be extracted from the seeds (approx. 3.5% from the pods).