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Carob verses Chocolate

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Offline Sue

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« on: August 29, 2007, 16:59 PM »
Hi All,
i'm just doing some research on carob trees for a new article and found that Spain is the worlds largest producer of Carob (Locust) Bean Gum.
Both are natural products, so I have also been looking into the "carob powder verses chocolate" for health reasons.
I found this extract in a definitely pro-carob site and thought that some of you chocoholics may like to read it...

"For part of the process necessary to produce chocolate, the cocoa beans must be left out to ferment. During this process it is possible for cancer causing agents to form, as well as for insects, rodents, and small animals to contaminate the fermenting cocoa beans. These contaminants remain in the finished product. The FDA allows up to 10 milligrams of animal excrement per pound, or up to 25 insect fragments per tablespoon of cocoa powder."

There’s me thinking those bits were candied peel or nuts !!!

Sue
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Offline nick

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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2007, 17:51 PM »
Here's one for you Sue.

Hi Sue,
Here's an angle for you which I would love it if you could prove true.

I read once on the Net that carob trees are Euroasia's version of certain species of baobabs in that find it hard to germinate without elephant dung - in their case mammoth poo. Since the extinxtion of the mammoth, carobs have largely survived through human help.

The problem is I have since been unable to find any reference to this.

Curious but is it true?
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2007, 18:15 PM »
Greetings Sue and All,
Thanx for that, but take a gander * at who's writing it - if we're fighting 'em on the beaches re. creationism, intelligent design, etc., how come we're gonna accept what they tell us about the evils of chocolate. We all know 'bout its aphrodisiacal properties - I bet carob doesn't have the same effects!


Sticking-to-my-chocs regs.,
Technopat

Ps
they'll be telling us all sorts of things 'bout tea next!
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 19:04 PM by Wildside »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Sue

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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2007, 18:46 PM »
Hi TP,
that is why i wrote that the link is  ""a definitely pro-carob site "" obviously all media puts a slant on things!
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 19:10 PM »
Hi Nick,

I have grown many Carob trees from seed. I used to have access to a natural kibbling process to sort out the best seeds.
Her name was Wonky Donkey. She belonged to a neighbour and was used to take water in churns up the mountain to the goat pen with fresh milk in the churns for her return journey. The sickly beast was given carob beans daily but no water other than a quick drink on her way through the river.
I took her fresh water and hay every day, groomed her, Clive trimmed her hooves and we nursed her back to reasonable health. The name stayed even though less wonky bones now showed through the skin.

There were two forms of carob seeds that I collected; those in her manure -- as they passed straight through. (This manure I took to the veggie plot) These were generally weeded out of the garden later. The others were those expertly sorted by tongue and lip and deposited around her food bowl. These also grew easily with just a small amount of donkey spit.
There is no doubt that the hard seed coating makes sure that the seed passes through the gut to be dispersed away from the adult tree in a handy grow pat, pellet or other form of animal dung. Many seeds germinate but I would say that the main problem for the young seedling / sapling is being eaten by goats, rabbits etc.

Lucky really 'cause we have seen no mammoths in our area recently, Sue
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 19:12 PM by Sue »
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Offline lucy

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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 20:21 PM »
Sue, had Wonky been abandoned as too sickly or was she still working during her cure?  What did the neighbour think about her new lease of life?

Offline nick

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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 21:04 PM »
So they do need manure of some sort...the plot thickens...
Nick
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 21:40 PM »
Hi Nick
i'm not sure how you can count donkey spit as manure !!!

Just consider the animal as transportation.

I HAVE grown seeds just in ordinary soil which did not pass through an animal.

Regards, Sue
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 21:59 PM by Sue »
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2007, 21:44 PM »
Hi Lucy, yes she worked all through and the owners thought me to be totally mad.

They did have to admit that she improved though. This pleased them as she could carry a heavier load.!
Problem was that after years without enough water, irreparable damage would have been done.

Sue
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 21:46 PM by Sue »
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2007, 22:14 PM »
Greetings All,
Just how we can go from aphrodisiacs to manure all within (along?) the same thread beats me, and as many of you iberianatureforumers out there know, takes a lot to flummox yours truly, but such are the wonders of aforementioned iberianatureforum, and the answer to Sue's doubt is to be found, as is so often the case, at Wikipedia (with the corresponding aviso a navegantes - En. anyone?).

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 23:34 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline nick

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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2007, 00:11 AM »
Right, spit I hadn't read that properly
Nick
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2007, 10:58 AM »
Tp you have lost me here ..."the answer to Sue's doubt is to be found,"..

what doubt did i express???

Sue
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2007, 11:18 AM »
Greetings Sue,
Quote
i'm not sure how you can count donkey spit as manure !!!

Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Sue

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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2007, 11:43 AM »
wow that really is a tangent!
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Offline nick

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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2007, 14:25 PM »
Are we sure the mammoths didn't spit out the carobs?

Now there's a thought never uttered before.
Nick
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2007, 15:16 PM »
If you like the idea of mammoth spit, you will like this one then Nick

Again nothing to do with tapas, so might be time to move this into the tree board as the manure link is going to really confuse people 

Local dispersal methods
Agriculture (local): The California Department of Food and Agriculture (2000) states that, "Quarantining livestock for ~ 6 days before moving can help prevent introducing seed into new areas."
Consumption/excretion: The Arizona Board of Regents (1972) states that, "Dissemination of the seeds in cattle dung has been an important factor in this invasion."
More here… http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?fr=1&si=917

Information on Prosopis juliflora a shrub native to the Americas
which I came across as it has the same Spanish common name as Carob trees.

Regards, Sue
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 17:14 PM by Wildside »
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Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2007, 21:23 PM »
Interesting !!  Back in July when my sister was staying with us I mentioned the problems that I was having with getting some of the seeds in our vegetable garden to germinate and then grow to any reasonable size as I don't like using all the chemicals that the locals seem to use.  Her comment was 'have you tried rolling them in donkey dung ?'.  Apparemntly she had read that the farmers in the south of France used to (if not still) do this with particular types of seed.  She could not remember where she had read it, but thinks that it was probably one of Peter Mayle's books.  Told her that at present I do not know any donkey owners, but that I would find one before she came next time, so that she could do the rolling for me as it is not something that I particularly fancy doing.
Has anyone tried this method of germinating ?

::)

Offline Jill

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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2007, 23:10 PM »
The thing that intrigues me is how the devil you found that site, Sue? And why are they so jolly keen for us to eat carob? It isn't even mentioned on "God's Chosen Diet" (same website.) Definite shades of the Flying Spaghetti monster here (see Technopat's link, elsewhere, to wikipedia). I expect FSM disciples are only allowed to eat spaghetti.

But maybe carob is really only suitable for mammoths and donkeys. It tastes (to me) like mud.

We love the image (presented by Nick) of palaeolithic man going around manuring the carob trees and protecting them from the rabbits. But the best line comes from that website to which you directed us, Sue : "Shortly after man began eating meat, his lifespan dropped from almost 1,000 years to less than 100 years."
"Yipee!" says Caesar, who never eats any meat. "I'll get to see in the next millennium!"

Jill

Offline Jill

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« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2007, 01:14 AM »
After we'd finished laughing at our own jokes we started to wonder about carob. D'you know, I don't think I'd even realised that carob beans came from a tree - still less that they came from a tree growing here in Spain - until
Clive pointed one out to us. We started wondering about the process; about how a bunch of carob seeds get turned into a chocolate bar. It turns out that they don't. The chocolate substitute is made from the pods, not the seeds. Here are a few interesting snippets and quotes which may be of interest:

www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/economicbotany/Ceratonia/index.html
"The carob is known in Spain as algarrobo... It is native to the eastern Mediterranean, probably the Middle East, where it has been in cultivation for at least 4000 years. The plant was well known to the ancient Greeks, who planted seeds of this plant in Greece and Italy. Arabs planted the crop in northern Africa and Spain, along with citrus and olives. Spaniards carried carob to Mexico and South America, and the British took carob to South Africa, India, and Australia. Carob grows well anywhere that citrus is grown."

www.newcrops.uq.edu.au/newslett/ncnl7-13.htm
"Most current carob orchards in Portugal and Spain are located on steep, rocky sites, requiring hand harvesting; harvesting represents 30-35% of the total production costs. Future varieties will be developed for mechanical harvesting." And, inevitably, they're also trying to improve the yield etc. by crossing different strains.

The most common practice for establishing carob orchards is to graft selected varieties onto seedling root-stocks. Young trees suffer frost damage. Mature tees can endure a temperature drop to 20º F (-6.67º C)

The pods must be harvested before winter rains. They are shaken down by means of a long pole ... The pods are caught on canvas sheets laid on the ground. Then they are sun-dried for 1 or 2 days until the moisture content is reduced... Harvested carob pods are firstly kibbled (= to grind or chop coarsely) followed by screening. "The endosperm is extracted from the seed by grinding to produce LBG. There are about 13 processors worldwide who produce LBG, and half of them operate in Spain. The world demand for LBG requires 35,000t of carob seed per year. LBG is used in the food industry (LBG ? "Little Brown Grains", says Caesar - but actually it's Locust Bean Gum.)
I even found myself visiting the patents website and reading about a new, chemical process for producing "a natural carob extract from which the negative characteristics of the juice in its natural state, i.e. colour, odour and taste, had been eliminated."

www.absoluteaxarquia.com/food/carob.html
This site has recipes both for making your own flour from carob pods and for cooking with carob flour.

www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/carob.html
"In the Mediterranean region, peasants have virtually lived on the pods in times of famine, but the tree is valued mostly as providing great amounts of pods as feed for livestock..."

Finally, here's a list of things in which carob is used: the pods, having been processed to form a flour, are processed to a cocoa -like flour which is added to wheat flour, confections, and candy bars. Coarsely ground and boiled in water the pods "yield a thick, honey-like syrup". They are also used to feed horses, cattle, pigs, goats and rabbits "(but) because of the tannin content (they) should constitute no more than 10% of total feed... They cannot be fed to chickens."
   The seeds yield a gum called Tragasol, "which is an important commercial stabilizer and thickener in bakery goods, ice cream, salad dressings, (etc. and in) cosmetics, detergents, paint, ink, shoe polish, adhesives, sizing for textiles, photographic paper, insecticides and match heads. It is also utilized in tanning... (and) for bonding paper pulp and thickening silkscreen pastes, and some derivatives are added to drilling mud." Somehow it doesn't sound quite so appealing as the pod... but despite this the ground seeds are apparently used as a coffee substitute in both Germany and Spain. Has anybody come across Spanish carob-bean coffee?

Sadly, I can't find any mention of mammoths. Comments on the matter of germination include the following (also from www.hort.purdue.edu) : "Fresh seeds germinate quickly and may be sown directly in the field. Dried, hard seeds need to be scarified or chipped and then soaked in water or dilute sulphuric or hydrochloric acid solutions until they swell... In Cyprus, seeds are planted in sand and kept wet for 6 weeks or more... Germination rate may be only 25%... Most carob growers consider fertilizing unnecessary."
Having told us this, the site then goes on to say that the "germination rate may be only 25%." 'Sounds like they do need some help from Wonky-Donkey after all!

Jill

Offline Sue

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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2007, 08:54 AM »
Hi Jill,

That is pretty much carobs in a nut shell. Yes, they are very separate products the seed and the pulp, sorry we probably threw too much info at you in one go on the side of a mountain!

One thing that you did not appear to come across is that there are male and female carob trees and this would be another reason for using grafted stock. There has been a lot of research done into trying to sex the seedling trees as the females do not start producing the beans until they are 6 years old. For obvious reasons you do not need a field of males by mistake!

Also the powder LBG is food additive E410 should you wish to read the cream cheese/ ice-cream label.

Regards, Sue
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