What Is Licorice Made From?
Liquorice (spelled licorice in many regions) is made from the sweet roots of the licorice plant, which grows in southern Europe and parts of Asia. Workers dig up the long roots and let them dry for several months.
To prepare licorice, the roots are crushed and boiled. The liquid is then evaporated, and the sweet paste that remains is dried to make a powder. The essential ingredients of liquorice candy are liquorice extract, sugar, and a binder.
The binder is typically starch/flour, gum arabic, gelatin, or a combination thereof. Additional ingredients are extra flavoring, beeswax for a shiny surface, ammonium chloride, and molasses to give the end product the familiar black color.
At the candy factory the licorice powder is mixed with flour, starch and other ingredients, and cooked. The freshly cooked licorice is then shaped into drops, sticks and slender “whips.” Finally, the candy is put on trays to dry.