At the Herdade dos Lagos the carob trees grow on more than 260 ha. This evergreen tree is highly resistant to heat and dryness and achieves a height of 10 to 20 metres. The carob tree grows on calcareous soil as well as on sand and loamy soil and tolerates a high salt degree. It grows in habitats without any watering and there is no need of using any pesticides. Therefore the carob tree predestines for organic farming.
Carob is fascinating because of so many good qualities. The fleshes of fruit as well as the husks including the seeds turn to good purpose, especially in the food industry.
The fruit flesh, so called carob, is rich in dietary fibre and contains calcium and iron. This specialises it to be diet food and good for kids. Additionally carob powder is free of cholesterol, gluten-free and lactose-free and perfect as alternative to chocolate for allergy sufferers. The natural sugar level and the special fruity and caramel taste reminds of cacao. It differs by missing caffeine and theobromin, is fat free and may replace cacao by all means.
Carob is five times swell able than starch. It is used already in many ways as thickener and stabilizing agent in sweets, sauces, soups, puddings and ice cream. Under the number E 410 it is approved and licensed as food additive, including organic food.
Carob is perfect for marble cake as well as for mousse au chocolate, pudding and milk shakes. As for diet purpose carob flour is used for baking gluten-free bread. Acute indigestions and nutrition problems, colitis and celiac disease are areas of application for products containing this carob flour. One ingredient isolated in the seed reduces the blood sugar level as well as the cholesterol level and may help reducing weight. Carob contains a minimum of 6 different substances which hinder tumours from growing. Acting as antioxidant it protects human cells against damage by free radicals. A perfect all-rounder.