For over 150 years MAFCO has been the world’s leading manufacturer of natural licorice products.
This position has been maintained by constant technical innovation, significant financial investments, dedication to product quality, high levels of customer service and stable supply of raw materials. MAFCO’s natural licorice products are used today in a wide range of applications including confectionary, food, beverage, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, personal care and tobacco products.
Licorice Raw Materials
Natural licorice products are derived from the roots of the licorice or glycyrrhiza genus of plants. This plant is small shrub-like leguminous plant indigenous to the Middle East and Central Asia including the countries of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Turkey. The plant's roots are harvested in the wild when the plant is approximately four years old. Roots are collected, cleaned, dried and packaged by MAFCO’s suppliers across multiple regional sources and shipped to MAFCO’s worldwide factory locations by ocean vessel. Over its 150 year history, MAFCO has developed an extensive knowledge of licorice markets and collection networks in key licorice growing regions. MAFCO has also made significant financial investments in licorice raw materials collection operations in strategic areas of the world.
MAFCO selects licorice root from various sources to optimize the finished product performance characteristics required by customers. Processing licorice root begins with shredding the root to matchstick size. Licorice solids are then extracted from the shredded root with hot water. After filtration and evaporation, the concentrated licorice extract is converted into a powder, semi fluid or block form, depending on the customer's requirements, and then packaged and shipped to customers.