Algarrobo

Algarrobo, white carob tree or (Prosopis alba)  is a South American tree species that grows in central Argentina, the Gran Chaco ecoregion, and part of the Argentine Mesopotamia, as well as Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru. It is known as algarrobo blanco in Spanish, which means “white carob tree”. Spanish settlers gave it that name because of its similarity to the European carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua). Other common names come from Guaraní, including ibopé and igopé. Prosopis alba flours, mainly containing the seeds, constitute nutritional ingredients for bakery and gluten free products.

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Description

Scientific name: Prosopis alba

In seeds, the fraction with the highest polyphenols and antioxidant activity was the seed coat or testa. Protein content was higher in whole pod flour (5.81 %) than in pulp flour (3.52 %), presenting the seed an appreciable amount 33.6 %. These proteins were composed by monomer subunits of 85, 67, 38, 16 and 14 kDa and no prolamins and anti-tryptic activity were detected. P. alba flours presented high content of soluble sugars, mainly composed by sucrose, and also high amount of insoluble dietary fiber. The major mineral was potassium. The whole pod, due to the contribution of seeds, contained high amount of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, all indispensable minerals for human nutrition.