This product can be qualified as pure. (2) It is permissible for the addition of edible sweetened matter or gum, as long as the product still contains 6% gly-cyrrhizin; however, this product cannot be labeled pure. (3) Starched licorice (the most common classification) permits the addition of edible sweetened matter, gum, starch matter, and dextrin. This category must contain at least 1.5% glycyrrhizin.
• Italy. There is no standard of composition laid down for licorice. However, the use of additives in confectionery products (which one assumes includes licorice) is covered by the additives list.
• Netherlands, Ireland, and United Kingdom. There are no standards of composition on licorice confectionery. Products that are made to a standard recipe and fulfill consumer expectation of licorice should be acceptable.
• Peru. Substances based on licorice root are permitted as foaming agents for food use.
• Spain. Spain has no specific regulation or compositional standards on licorice as such; however, the list of additives permitted for confectionery products covers licorice.
• Switzerland. There is no standard of composition laid down for licorice, but there are regulations on confectionery and bakery products. The use of additives in licorice and confectionery are covered by the additives list.
• Germany. The guidelines are quite lengthy but can be simply stated as any product labeled as licorice must contain a minimum of 5% licorice juice in the dried form as customarily traded. Interpretation of the dried form probably means the powder form; however, if one takes the as customarily traded statement into consideration it could include block licorice. Although the guidelines do not have the force of law, they are an indication of trade and consumer expectation and should be complied with.
Although this article has described the black-colored licorice-flavored candy product, a similar textured product containing fruit flavors and pastel colors is made and sold throughout the world. In the United States, this particular type of product (red-colored and strawberry or cherry flavored) outsells the black variety by about 10 to 1.
J. Frank Smullen
Hershey Foods Corporation
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