Carobs unique compositional and biological synthesis enables their characterization as functional foods. In the present study, 76 samples derived from fruit and seeds of carobs, with origin from the countries of the Mediterranean region (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Jordan and Palestine) were analyzed for their nutritional composition, in order to identify potential markers for their provenance and address the carobs’ authenticity issue. Moisture, ash, fat, proteins, sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose), dietary fibers and minerals (Ca, K, Mg, Na, P, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) were estimated following official methods. Due to the large number of data (76 samples × 17 parameters × 7 countries), chemometric techniques were employed to process them and extract conclusions. The samples of different geographical origin were discriminated with 79% success in total. The carobs from Cyprus, Italy and Spain were correctly classified without error. The main discriminators were found to be the dietary fibers, the carbohydrates and Cu, Zn and Mn, which emphasize their specific nutritional added value to the product and the country of origin impact. The results suggest that the proposed analytical approach is a powerful tool that enables the discrimination of carobs based on their country of origin. This research contributes to authenticity of carobs, adding value to local products.
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