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Block liquorice tastes incredibly strong and does not taste like the liquorice we know. Because block liquorice is so sweet, you only need a very small portion of it for further processing. This block liquorice is then dissolved in water at the liquorice factories after which all kinds of ingredients are added to the material to create liquorice. First, a mixture is formed with a sweetener (for instance sugar, honey, glucose, or fructose). Then, other substances such as anise oil, laurel, mint, honey, and thickeners are added to the mixture.

In the early days, gum arabic was used as a binding agent. This gum arabic is harvested from the Acacia tree that can only grows in warm countries, especially in Sudan, Senegal and the flowing areas of the Nile.

The skin of the tree contains cracks of which drops of gum emerge. These drops form thick lumps called gum arabic that are then taken off. By adding this gum the liquorice becomes smooth again. Gum arabic is scarce and, therefore, very valuable. It is one of the main reasons why different kinds of starches have been added to liquorice as a binding agent, because it is much cheaper.

Lastly, color and taste additives are added. These taste additives depend on the kind of liquorice that is produced. The colorants that are used are often toffee. If salty liquorice is produced, sal ammoniac is also added. The mixture will then look like some kind of bread dough and is, therefore, also referred to as "dough".

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