Six thousand carob trees will be planted on Sunday at Orites, Paphos, the first of 40,000 that will make up the biggest organic carob plantation on the island as part of the University of Cyprus’ Black Gold project.
A statement from the university said the land was leased to them by the forestry department and has already been prepared for planting.
UCy rector Constantinos Christophides said the carobs will be used for research, the production of beverages and other new products.
“The carob crops will be mainly utilised in research, production of new products and the manufacture of existing ones in the food industry, and the pharmaceutical industry as well as other research activity,” Christophides said.
According to the rector, the university was planning to produce three new drinks in co-operation with a wine company and the state lab.
These will include a carob liqueur and an improved version of the first alcoholic drink produced a year ago, Ceratonia.
The three products are expected to be put on the market before Easter 2018.
Beyond these, the rector said UCy was negotiating with local and foreign firms with the aim of striking deals to create innovative products made from carob.
Medicinally, carobs are currently used for digestion problems including diarrhoea, heartburn and the inability to absorb certain nutrients from food. Other uses of carob include the treatment of obesity, vomiting during pregnancy and high cholesterol.
In infants, carob is used to treat vomiting cough and diarrhoea.
In food and beverages, it is utilised as a flavouring agent and as a chocolate substitute. Carob flour and extracts are also used as ingredients in food products.
The planting event will be held on Sunday at 11am and will be open to the public.