carob tree

Carob gum, from carob seeds, is used in baking as a thickening agent.

Carob Gum

Also Known as Locust Bean Gum


 

What is Carob Gum?

Carob gum is a hydrocolloid made from the seeds of the carob tree. It has a neutral taste, good texture, and improves the viscosity of any food systems.

Origin

Carob gum comes from the carob fruit which is grown on carob trees. Spain, Portugal, Greece, Morocco, and Italy are the leading producers of the carob fruit.However, there are a few trees grown in California for this purpose.

Nutrition

Carob gum is a soluble fiber.

Function

Carob gum is used as a thickening agent in products like salad dressing and sauces.It is also used as a stabilizer in ice cream to slow down the growth of ice crystals. When mixed with other gums, it makes a good gel and creates an elastic jelly. In dough, carob gum helps improve the properties and quality of the dough.

Commercial Production

Once the carob fruits are harvested, they are dried and roasted. Next, the seeds are separated from the meat of the fruit. The seeds are skinned and then gently ground and sifted. This is to separate the germ from the endosperm, which is then sent through roller mills to create carob gum.

Application

Carob gum has a neutral taste and it will not interfere with the other ingredients in your product. With a pH of 5.4-7.0, and powerful thickening abilities, carob gum is used in baked goods to increase thickness and emulsify the product. It is mostly applied at 0.1 – 0.3%, and dissolves only in hot water.

FDA Regulations

Carob gum is now included in the list of dietary fibers listed on nutrient labels.2 There is no proof that carob gum is harmful when eaten at recommended amounts, so it has GRAS status.

References

  1. Sęczyk, Łukasz, et al. “Effect of Carob (Ceratonia Siliqua L.) Flour on the Antioxidant Potential, Nutritional Quality, and Sensory Characteristics of Fortified Durum Wheat Pasta.” Food Chemistry, vol. 194, 2016, pp. 637–642.,doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.08.086. Accessed 13 June 2017.
  1. “Dietary Fiber on the Nutrition Facts Label.” ESHA Research, 25 Jan. 2017, www.esha.com/labeling-compliance/dietary-fiber-nutrition-facts-label/. Accessed 28 May 2017.