This section is from the book "A Text Book Of Materia Medica, Being An Account Of The More Important Crude Drugs Of Vegetable And Animal Origin", by Henry G. Greenish. Also available from Amazon: A Text Book of Materia Medica : Being an Account of the More Important Crude Drugs of Vegetable and Animal Origin.
Unpeeled Russian liquorice shows a close resemblance to the Spanish. It consists, however, chiefly of roots (instead of runners) which are destitute of pith and exhibit no traces of buds; their colour is purplish rather than brown, and the cork is often scaly. The official description is framed so as to include peeled Russian (and other) liquorice root provided that it complies with the official characters (' taste sweet and almost free from bitterness ').
Fig. 163. - Compressed bales of natural (unpeeled) Liquorice root.
Liquorice root is also largely collected in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates from G. glabra, var. β. violacea, and exported in bales from Bussorah. It is usually unpeeled and in rather large coarse pieces closely resembling the unpeeled Russian root; it is largely consumed in America.
Anatolian and Syrian liquorice are exported from Smyrna and
Alexandretta respectively to the United States; they are probably derived from G. glabra.
The manufacture of stick or block liquorice is carried on chiefly in southern Italy, but also to some extent in Spain, Anatolia, etc. The runners and roots of both wild and cultivated plants are collected, crushed, boiled with water, and pressed. The decoction thus obtained is allowed to clear by standing, and is then run off into large pans, where it is concentrated by boiling until it has acquired a suitable consistence, when it is formed into sticks, which are stamped with the name of the manufacturer (e.g. Solazzi), or blocks (largely Anatolian) and dried.
Stick liquorice contains approximately 10 to 13 per cent, of glycyrrhizin, 13 per cent, of sugars, 23 per cent, of starch and gum, and 22 per cent, insoluble in water.