Research varieties of carob tree from Mallorca
Es Garrover de Mallorca pilot project:
Coordinator; Juana Verger
Morphological and chemical determination of six varieties of carob tree from Mallorca.
Joan Vidal, Mario Grau and Jaume Seguí
The cultivation of the carob tree has undergone an important boost in recent years, due to its agronomic and nutritional qualities; such as presenting few problems of pests and diseases, being a sustainable crop and easy to adapt to scarce water resources and poor soils, and presenting an important commercial diversification, from bran for animals, to thickeners, preservatives, carob powder and molasses , among others. In addition, the Balearic Islands are one of the largest carob producers in Spain, with a large number of its own varieties.
This pilot study, subsidized by FOGAIBA (Fons de Garantia Agrària i Pesquera de les Illes Balears), within the “minimum aid for pilot projects and support for the development of new products, practices, processes and technologies 2017”, has been carried out carried out by the company Es Garrover de Mallorca SL, within its interest in encouraging research and development of the ecological Mallorcan carob. Specifically, it aims to increase the morphological and chemical knowledge of six of the majority varieties of Mallorca in order to analyze the commercial potential of each one of them.
The varieties studied have been; Bugadera (from the Llevant area of Mallorca), Duraió, Roja and Pic d’abella (from Raiguer) and Vera and De la mel (from Pariatge de Mallorca). From about 15 carob beans per variety, both morphological and chemical differences between the different varieties have been analyzed.
Regarding morphology, it has been determined that the Bugadera variety has a greater agronomic interest for its pulp, as it presents wider and longer carob beans. While the Vera and Roja varieties present a higher yield in terms of locust bean and for that reason, the ones with the highest commercial value, due to the high market value of the locust bean. With regard to the chemical part, sucrose is determined as the most representative sugar in all the varieties studied, highlighting the high amount of pinitol with respect to glucose and fructose in the Majorcan varieties. Mel tends to have the highest amount of fructose, while the Pic d’abella, Roja and Duraió varieties are the ones with the highest protein content.
We highlight the nutritional interest of the Majorcan varieties studied, in comparison with other peninsular varieties, due to their high pinitol content. In the Majorcan varieties, the second most important sugar corresponded to pinitol, contrary to what was found in the other varieties, where fructose is the second most important sugar. This result is of great interest due to the large amount of beneficial properties present in pinitol; anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, immunosuppressive, anti-aging, creatine retention stimulants, Alzheimer’s melioratives, anticancer and antidiabetic properties of pinitol, among others, so the chemical properties of the Majorcan carob varieties should be studied in more detail.
As a final conclusion, the Red and Vera or Bugadera varieties, respectively, stand out, depending on the type of interest, whether for the locust bean or the pulp. It should be noted the high proportion of pinitol and sucrose in total sugars. In addition, we would consider the Duraió variety as the most balanced in commercial value given its chemical qualities, its yield in locust bean and its pulp content.