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General Characteristics, Technical Innovations, Biotechnology and Market

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Information @ a glance
General
  • Licorice Root comes from a tall shrub with bluish flowers of the pea family and is found all across Asia and Europe. The root is used medicinally and is one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Licorice Root is used as a soothing and calming agent for digestive and urinary problems, coughs and sore throats. Overall, Licorice Root helps boost immunity, reduce inflammation, protect the liver and ease menopause problems.
  • Licorice Root has many active constituents that aid the body in numerous ways. Glycyrrhizin acts as an anti-inflammatory to inhibit the breakdown of cortisol and also has antiviral properties
  • Flavanoids help heal the digestive tract and provide antioxidant protection. Triterpenoids inhibit cancerous growths and help prevent tooth decay. It also stimulates production of two steroids, cortisone and aldosterone to help reduce inflammation.

Process

  • Liquorices Extract and transform it radically in a clean and easy-to-use ingredient. A very  demanding research and development project over several years led to a new generation of Liquorices Extracts in process-performing forms. This new line of quick processing Liquorices Extract includes the following qualities Liquorices Pellets granules in different granulometries Liquorices Nuggets small, extruded blocks QSLic (Quick Soluble Liquorices) agglomerated powder that dissolves quickly.

  • The plant material is received at the factory, it is dried in the sun and then coarsely milled in a hammer mill and stored in bags. The factory is in operation for 24 hours per day, and they process 2,16 ton of roots per week. This yields 525 kg of liquorices extract.

  •  The process starts by boiling the root material. 30 kg at a time is packed in containers and boiled for 40 minutes in tanks with a water capacity of 300 litres. The process is repeated three times for each load. This boiling process extracts liquorices from the roots, almost like a teabag infuses hot water.

Market

  • New World Marketing, which manufactures Panda brand licorice bars, chews and comfits (small and perfumed licorice bites), appeals to the adult consumer with ingredients such as molasses, wheat flour, licorice extract and anise oil.
  • Many herbs such as licorice are grown in third world countries, where labor is cheap, and chemicals are not used because cost is prohibitive.
  • The product is inexpensive and free of synthetic chemicals. Large companies involved in the processing and distribution of these herbs know this and take advantage of international markets.
  • Again, the grower needs to get a commitment to buy the crop before he makes the decision to grow it. Risks are higher with specialty crops and price should reflect this.
  • Organic retail sales approx 1.12 billion in year ending April 2004, 11% y-on-y growth.

Benefits

  • It is employed as a flavorings agent in sweets and tobacco, and as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers and beer. It is used traditionally to relieve coughs and sore throats, and against gastric inflammation. One of the main active ingredients is glycyrrhizin, which has a cortisone-like effect and, additionally, is 50 times sweeter then sucrose (Bown1995).Glycyrrhizin raises prostaglandin levels locally, increasing mucous secretion and promoting proliferation of cells in the stomach.

  •  It is used as an emulsifier to create foam in drinks and alcoholic beverages. Licorice root can be chewed or made into tea. It is frequently found in cough preparations and candies, often combined with anise seed. Consumption of licorice is believed to aid in healing stomach ulcers. Tea made from licorice and other anti-spasmodic herbs is often taken for menstrual cramps.

  • Aloe should not be used during pregnancy or lactation except under medical supervision after evaluating benefits and risks. Aloe is also contraindicated in patients with cramps, colic, haemorrhoids, nephritis, or any undiagnosed abdominal symptoms such aspain, nausea, or vomiting.

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