Black Gold - Candy History Licorice Part 3
But what goes in a normal Licorice candy? Today licorice is a confection flavored with the extract of the roots of the Licorice plant. It is usually made out of the following ingredients: sugar, starch, glucose syrup, gelling agent, licorice extract, flour, salt, according to taste and ammonium chloride, flavorings, glazing agent: anise oil or beeswax, coloring agent: herbal carbon, and food colors. Gelling agents may be: gum arabic, agar-agar or gelatin.
That sounds a bit strange so we look into some of those ingrediance for you, and you will find out its all mostly natural:
Gum Arabic also known as acacia gum it is made of Acacia tree species and a vegetable gelling agent. It is a resin mostly grown in sudan and very common in the making of anything confectionery. The resin is scratched, and the juice is purified and processed into a simple sirup.
Gelatine is a high-quality protein that is low in fat and calories, cholesterol and sugar free. Gelatin or gelatine is a translucent, colorless, brittle (when dry), flavorless food derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products.
It is made out of collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals as an example: pigs. So it is also a natural ingredient, but not suitable for vegetarians. So Katjes in Germany was the first Major Brand that made Gums without Gelatine, others soon followed to fulfill the craving of veggie lovers.
Thats why often Agar-agar is used in those kind of gums and licorice. it is a jelly-like substance, obtained from red algae. It is used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Asia.
Ammonium chloride is known since ancient times. In Germany by law it is necessary to label some kind if licorice as „Licorice for adults“. Those having a share of ammonium chloride between 2% to 7.99%. A high salt and / or Salmiakkonsum can drive up blood pressure. Together with the blood circulation stimulating Glycerrhicin, children should only consume very small doses or not at all.
Maltitol is used as a sugar substitute. It has 75–90% of the sweetness of table sugar. It is used to replace sugar because it is half as caloric, does not promote tooth decay, and has a somewhat lesser effect on blood glucose. Maltitol is used in sugarless and low calorie foods for diabetics. Today also Stevia goes into a lot of licorice. The plant Stevia has been used for more than 1000 years by the people of South America, who called it sweet herb.
Some kind of Licorice has gluten, but there are also a lot of products without it.
During manufacturing, the ingredients are dissolved in water and heated to 135 °C (275 °F). In order to obtain sweets of the desired shapes, the liquid is poured into molds that are created by impressing holes into a container filled with starch powder. The liquid is then dried and the resulting sweets are sprayed with beeswax or other glazing helpers to make their surface shiny.
On the next edition Part 4 (next week) we will talk about the different kind of Licorice through the world.. so stay tuned (you probably want to subscribe to the RSS Feed, so you never miss a news to do so, just go down to the bottom of the page click on one of the syndication options.).