The carob bean is a leguminous tree crop of the Mediterranean region with Spain producing almost 50% of world production and Italy and Portugal a further 25%. Total world production exceeds 300 000 tonnes. The pods contain about 90% fruit (known as kibble) and 10% seed. The kibble has a high sugar content of 35 to 50% and can be used as stock food or as a feed additive. It can also be used for human consumption in the form of ground powder or syrup. Both the powder and syrup can be used as a flavouring in drinks, confectionery, cakes and biscuits. Carob seed is used for the production of carob gum, a galactomannan, which is used as a high quality thickener in food products such as ice cream, desserts and soups.