Ceratonia occurs as a yellow-green or white colored powder. Although odorless and tasteless in the dry powder form, ceratonia acquires a leguminous taste when boiled in water.


Algaroba; carob bean gum; carob flour; ceratonia gum; ceratonia siliqua; ceratonia siliqua gum; Cheshire gum; E410; gomme decaroube; locust bean gum; Meyprofleur; St. John’s bread.

Chemical Name and CAS Registry Number

Carob gum [9000-40-2]

Empirical Formula and Molecular Weight

Ceratonia is a naturally occurring plant material that consists chiefly of a high molecular weight hydrocolloidal polysaccharide, composed of D-galactose and D-mannose units combined through glycosidic linkages, which may be described chemically as galactomannan. The molecular weight is approximately 310 000.

Functional Category

Controlled-release agent; stabilizing agent; suspending agent; tablet binder; viscosity-increasing agent.

Applications in Pharmaceutical Formulation or Technology

Ceratonia is a naturally occurring material generally used as a substitute for tragacanth or other similar gums. A ceratonia mucilage that is slightly more viscous than tragacanth mucilage may be prepared by boiling 1.0–1.5% of powdered ceratonia with water. As a viscosity-increasing agent, ceratonia is said to be five times as effective as starch and twice as effective as tragacanth.

Ceratonia has also been used as a tablet binder and is used in oral controlled-release drug delivery systems approved in Europe and the USA. Ceratonia is widely used as a binder, thickening agent, and stabilizing agent in the cosmetics and food industry. In foods, 0.15–0.75% is used. Therapeutically, ceratonia mucilage is used orally in adults and children to regulate intestinal function

Method of Manufacture

Ceratonia is a naturally occurring material obtained from the ground endosperms separated from the seeds of the locust bean tree, Ceratonia siliqua (Leguminosae). The tree is indigenous to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region.

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