Start-up set to showcase sustainable carob fruit innovations

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Start-up set to showcase sustainable carob fruit innovations

Related tags carob Polyphenols Gut health Prebiotic microbiome

Carobway plans to present both established and under development products utilising carob fruit at Vitafoods Europe next month, including low glycaemic index (GI) natural sweeteners and prebiotic fibres for use within foods and supplements.

The company, founded in 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel, centres around sustainable production, utilising the entire Carob fruit (Ceratonia siliqua L.)​ pod to reduce waste and achieve the array of associated health benefits.

Udi Alroy, co-founder and CEO of CarobWay, tells NutraIngredients: “My vision is to reintroduce the ancient carob fruit to popular use. We sought a sustainable, highly nutritional crop that can grow locally with a minimal ecological footprint. The search for a climate-resilient fruit included intensive research, conducting a multi-year tree study with Israel’s forestry organization – Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL).”

The team are due to present their portfolio of products incorporating their bioactive ingredients, including carob-sweetened iced tea, chocolate gummies, and confectionary fortified with prebiotic carob powder.

Carob demand

The carob fruit consists of around 90% pulp and 10% seeds, with the latter often most utilised in the food industry due the rich protein contents and for locust bean gum (LBG) production.

This pursuit for a sustainable and climate-resistant crop led to the company’s interest in carob; able to provide consumers with a nutritious low-GI alternative to real or artificial sugars.

We also address pre-diabetic and golden age markets. Prebiotics are mainly focused on toddlers, people with gut health sensitivities, 50+ and senior populations. As carob is also Gluten Free - we see much interest in this field,” ​Alroy explains, with regards to their key target demographic.

He continues to describe the benefits associated with the carob fruit: “CarobWay products are abundant in polyphenols, D-pinitol, tannins and other nutrients.

The market today is very much into prebiotic fibres; the demand is increasing due to the overwhelming science behind the prebiotic agenda. Consumers are well aware of the benefits of prebiotics, as the main attributes are known and clear to the consumer,” ​he adds, referencing the rapidly growing biotics market.

Sustainably sourced

In the face of modern-day crises, including climate change, economic struggles and supply chain issues, the demand for sustainable and resilient crops are high.

Alroy stresses: “Acclimatized to hot weather, CarobWay carob has high carbon storage abilities, thrives in marginal lands, and helps prevent wildfires.”

He continues to explain how the company leverage precision agricultural-tech innovations to ensure yield optimisation, with resultant efficiencies reducing water and energy usages, as well as reducing labour requirements.

“The company leverages precision ag-tech innovation to optimize yield and minimize dependence on water, energy, labour, etc. Our strategic sustainable CarobWay solutions includes field prep, fertilization, irrigation, sensors, computerization and mechanized harvesting, are eco-friendly. Big data and knowledge management enable CarobWay to apply solutions to future cultivation,” ​he continues.

Future science

With regards to future studies conducted at the company, Alroy explains: “Carob ingredients are already backed by science however, we are conducting joint research with scientific entities and are planning joint research studies for its line of nutraceuticals.

“The studies include bioavailability of each of the products, bioaccessibility studies, microbiome affect and influence on insulin level as well,” ​he adds.

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