200 professionals participated in the successful IX Technical Conference held in Eivissa.
The Ibiza Conference Center was the setting, on Thursday 5 May, for the IX Technical Conference on the Promotion and Improvement of Carob Tree Cultivation, an event organized by the Innovative Companies of Garrofa (EiG) association in conjunction with the Consell de Eivissa. Public entities and private companies related to the sector also collaborated with the conference, and their contribution was important for the organization and consolidation of the event.
200 participants attended this national event aimed at professionals from the sector interested in carob production. The conference dealt with agronomic, historical and nutritional aspects of its fruit cultivation, and also included presentations on its economic impact, the most recent cultivation techniques, marketing and the potential applications of its fruit in the food industry. The event highlighted the importance of ensuring the conservation and cleanliness of its fruit, as well as the properties of locust bean gum, a derivative of the carob seed.
The event was opened by the mayor of Santa Eulària des Riu, Carmen Ferrer; the island director of Medi Rural i Marí, Joan Marí Guasch; and the president of Innovative Companies of La Garrofa, Josep Borràs.
Technicians and experts from various fields related to the sector participated in the presentations. EiG’s technical coordinator, Dr. Joan Tous, opened the cycle of presentations with his intervention on carob tree varieties and cultivation technology; Josep Lluís Joan, Promoció de Qualitat Agroalimentaria del Consell Insular, with his presentation on the current situation of carob cultivation on the Balearic island; Carme Garau, from l’Institut de Recerca i Formació Agrària i Pesquera (IRFAP), speaking about the study of the carob varietal collection in S’on Real, in Mallorca, were the speakers of the first part of the day, just before the coffee break, at which time attendees were able to taste products made with carob, both sweet and savory, such as sponge cake, muffins, salty delicatessen. And also in drinks, in this case, beer. Thus, those attending the conference were able to see for themselves the many possibilities that the carob has in human nutrition, gastronomy and confectionery.
Julia San Segundo, from the company CAROB SA opened the second cycle of the day with her presentation on the perspectives and applications of locust bean gum. Dr. Francisco José Sánchez from the Complutense University of Madrid spoke about the antidiabetic effects of the pulp based on a research paper at the same university. The company ADM Wild was also present at the conference cycle, in a speech on natural sweeteners from carob pulp.
Miguel Ángel Domene from the Cajamar Cooperative group spoke about the food use of the carob and its contribution to a nutritional and healthy improvement in the human diet. José Miguel Bonet, chef of the Es Ventall restaurant, in Sant Antoni de Portmany, was in charge of closing the cycle of conferences with his intervention on the contribution of carob beans to quality gastronomy. Finally, the president of the Consell Insular de Eivissa, Vicent Marí, was in charge of closing the day.
The IX edition of the Technical Conference concluded in the afternoon with a visit to the ca na Trulla farm, in Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, with the largest carob plantation on the island, where the agronomic performance of some varieties was verified in situ.
One more year, the Technical Seminar for the Promotion and Improvement of Carob Tree Cultivation has aroused interest in all its aspects and has managed to transmit the real message that the carob tree is a ‘total’ crop and the carob tree is a healthy and nutritious food for which it’s worth gambling.