The chemical, functional and sensory properties of carob juice compared with grape juice were evaluated. Composition results showed that carob pods contained high concentrations of carbohydrate and phytochemicals, moderate amounts of proteins and fiber, and low amounts of fat and ash. Phytochemical results showed that carob particle and powder juices had significantly higher total phenolic (19.8 and 20.3 mg gallic acid equivalent [GAE]/g, respectively) and tannin (4.3 and 4.5 mg catechin equivalents [CE]/g, respectively) contents than grape juice (6.2 mg GAE/g and 0.43 mg CE/g), while grape juice was higher in IC50 (10.8 mg/mL) than carob particles and powder juices (9.1 and 9.4 mg/mL, respectively). Descriptive results showed minor differences between grape and carob juices. In terms of consumer evaluation, the carob juices were similar to grape juice despite small differences especially in carob particle juice. Although carob juice is not traditionally considered as grape juice, it was found to be of acceptable overall quality.

Practical Applications

Carob is produced by the evergreen sclerophyllous trees (Ceratonia siliqua L.), which are considered typical plants of Mediterranean countries. World production is estimated at about 315,000 tons per year. The carob pods are rich in carbohydrates, polyphenolic compounds, and antioxidant and free radical-scavenging compounds and contain low amounts of insoluble dietary fibers, protein, minerals and lipids. Nowadays, the primary uses of the pods are as animal feed. For humans, carob pods have been used primarily in traditional foods such as confectioneries, beverages, bread or pasta in a few countries in the Mediterranean region because of their low price. Carob pods could be expected to produce high-quality juice, which is acceptable to consumers with potential functional food impact. Thus, the present investigation evaluates the functional and sensory properties of newly developed carob juice.