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.
In order to maintain a continuous and sustainable supply of licorice roots, MAFCO maintains multiple sources of supply and relationships with many suppliers so that, if the licorice root from any one source becomes temporarily unavailable, MAFCO can replace that source with licorice root from another area or supplier within the MAFCO supply network. MAFCO generally maintains a supply of licorice roots to meet between two and three years of its annual demand.
Licorice Extract Manufacturing
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.
Licorice Derivative Manufacturing
Licorice extracts are further purified through a series of extraction, purification and drying processes at MAFCO’s wholly-owned facilities in Zhangjiagang, China to produce licorice derivatives. These licorice derivatives are based upon the unique ingredient in licorice root, glycyrrhizic acid. Glycyrrhizic acid when isolated, purified and neutralized has no characteristic licorice flavor but possesses unique functional properties for eliminating undesirable flavors, intensifying and prolonging sweetness and enhancing other flavors.
Sales, Marketing and Product Development Support
MAFCO provides full service to its global customer base from its factories and offices in Camden NJ USA, Gardanne France and Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu China. Additional customer service and technical support is provided from its offices in Shanghai, China and Dubai, UAE.
MAFCO’s customers can contact any of its worldwide offices to get assistance with placing orders, ordering samples or to get technical assistance and information relating to any of MAFCO’s licorice extracts and licorice derivatives. MAFCO also enjoys relationships with distributors in many origins to better serve its worldwide customer base.