Liquorice extracts are obtained from the liquorice root. The use of liquorice root was already known in the days of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. In Babylonian times, liquorice root was used as a medicine. It was probably Alexander the Great who brought the liquorice root to Europe.
During the Middle Ages, liquorice root was used to make a tea which could mask the taste of bitter medicines. It was also used as an elixer for all sorts of ailments.
Although the first publication in the Netherlands about liquorice already dates from the thirteenth century, it was the English chemist George Dunhill who developed the first ‘Dunhill liquorice-cake’. Not before the twentieth century, industrially produced liquorice extract hit the market. At the beginning, the only available form were blocks of 5 kg. Only in the 1970s it became possible to offer liquorice extract as spray-dried powder. Ten years later the stable paste was developed.