What could carob, hazelnuts and alginate possibly have in common?

carobites low glycemic load desert-snack

Have you ever wonder what could carob, hazelnuts and alginate possibly have in common? The answer is a tasty idea called “Carobites”, a “Ready-To-Eat, sweet, on the go snack of high nutritional value based on carob combined with the innovative technology of edible coatings”. It is about a high nutritional product, consisting of approximately 60% carob and carob derivatives and 20% of hazelnut that is coated by a tasteless alginate derived edible coating.

How did this idea arise?

A team consists of students and staff of the Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene of the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece (AUA) inspired and created an innovative food project. The team consists of Dr. Anastasia E. Kapetanakou, Mr. Nikolaos Grivokostopoulos, Mrs. Ifigeneia Makariti, Mrs. Alkmini Gavriil, Mrs. Lamprini Diamanti, Mrs. Kalliopi Kalogiannaki, Mrs. Georgia-Lito Pateraki under the supervision of Dr. Skandamis N. Panagiotis (Assistant Professor of AUA). After hard work on market research, product formulation, development of the industrial process, packaging, financial and marketing plan “Carobites” developed to be released in the market as a functional, indulgent with low glycemic load desert-snack!

Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene of AUA provides educational and research activities that cover the field of food quality control, hygiene and safety of food installations and also offers consultancy services to industry.

Inspirators of “Carobites” reflect their vision for production and promotion of an alternative sweet and healthy snack based on the traditional but “neglected” carob, to this innovative product. They participated in the Greek competition “the Greek Ecotrophelia 2014” and won the 1st prize, while in the European Ecotrophelia (Food Innovation Student Awards) they won the third prize.
Their aim is to initially conquer a share of the Greek market and gradually introduce “Carobites” into the European and Global market.

Carobites at a glance

The main ingredients of “Carobites” are:

  • carob powder (roasted carob flour),
  • carob syrup,
  • ground hazelnuts
  • soft vegetable fat (homogenizing agent) and
  • alginate stabilizer which coated each bite.

It is mentioned that alginates are considered to be edible food contact substances, adequately labeled in order to indicate their presence in the food particle.

“Carobites” aims mass public and fulfills consumers’ demand for healthy, high energy content but also indulgent products in an easy handling form and with low environmental footprint.
Especially, is ideal for energetic and multi-tasking consumers, who lean towards a healthier diet or specific group of people like athletes, people on diet for weight loss or diabetics.
Although “Carobites” is based on unique sweet taste of carob, addition of flavorings such as orange, banana, cherry, strawberry or coconut could result in improved sensorial attributes.
It is also extremely stable at ambient conditions having 2 months shelf-life, with no special energy-consuming storage requirements, such as refrigeration.

What are the competitive advantages of “Carobites”?

“Carobites” has many competitive advantages compared to other desert-snacks, which are concentrated on:

  • high nutritional value,
  • naturally occurring sugars
  • no preservatives,
  • low glycemic load,
  • high content on dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins,
  • convenience,
  • value for money character and
  • eco-friendly profile.

Nutrition facts value of “Carobites”

The average nutrition facts of “Carobites” as retrieved by laboratory analysis are presented in the following Table.

Nutrition facts                                  per 100 g                              %R.I.¤
Energy                                     1309 (kJ) / 313 (kcal)                  15.70%
Total fat                                               19.5 g                               27.90%
of which Saturated fat                         2.5 g                               12.50%
Polyunsaturated fat                             2.4 g
Monounsaturated fat                         13.6 g
Total trans fatty acids                        <0.1 g
Carbohydrates (absorbable)            29.8 g
Sugars                                                24.0 g                                  24%
Dietary fibers                                     16.5 g
Proteins                                                4.5 g                                    9%
Salt                                                     0.06 g                                    1%
¤Reference intake (R.I.) of an average adult (8 400 kJ/ 2 000 kcal)

Maria Kalogirou

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