The chicory plant (Cichorium intybus) is a hardy perennial with purplish-blue flowers that open and close at the same time each day. The flowers and leaves are used in herbal tonics and for foods like salads, vinegar and even cooked like spinach. It is the roots of the chicory plant that are ground and made into powder to blend and mix with coffee. When the root is roasted it has the same aroma as coffee. However, the biggest advantage is that chicory does not contain any caffeine at all but resembles coffee in all other ways, Chicory can also be taken alone because it has a semi-sweet and rich caramel flavour which tastes very pleasant.
Today the consumption of coffee blended with chicory has grown and there are several brands available in the market. The chicory root is dried, ground, roasted to a rich brown colour which resembles the colour of coffee beans. It is often used as a caffeine free beverage on its own or as a mixture with ground roasted coffee because it enhances the taste, aroma and makes coffee mellow. Another reason that chicory is added to coffee is that it is cheaper while it has all the characteristics of coffee. Also it reduces the caffeine intake when mixed with coffee and being highly soluble it blends well with it.
FSSAI definition and standards for chicory
Chicory is the roasted chicory powder obtained by roasting and grinding of the cleaned and dried roots of chicorium intybus Lin with or without the addition of edible fats and oils or sugar, like glucose or sucrose in proportion not exceeding 2.0 per cent by weight in aggregate. It must be clean and free from dirt, extraneous matter, and contain no artificial colouring and flavouring agents.
Standards for chicory are as follows
(i) Total ash (on dry basis) m/m – Not less than 3.5 per cent and Not more than 8.0 per cent
(ii) Acid insoluble ash (on dry basis) m/m – Not more than 2.5 per cent
in diluted Hcl
(iii) Aqueous extracts (on dry basis) m/m – Not less than 55.0 per cent
Coffee – Chicory Mixture means a product that is prepared by mixing roasted and ground coffee and roasted and ground chicory and is sound, dry and in a dust free condition with no rancid or obnoxious flavour.
- It must be in the form of a free flowing powder having the colour, taste and flavour characteristic of coffee – chicory powder. It must neither contain any impurities nor any other added substance.
- The coffee content in the mixture must be at least 51 per cent by mass.
- The percentage of coffee and chicory used will be mentioned and marked on the label as provided in Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
Standards for coffee-chicory mixture
(i) Moisture -Not more than 5.0 per cent.
(ii) Total ash on dry basis -Not more than 7.50 per cent.
(iii) Acid insoluble ash on dry basis -Not more than 0.6 per cent.
(iv) Caffeine content on dry basis -Not less than 0.6 per cent.
(v) Aqueous extracts -Not more than 50 per cent.
Instant Coffee – Chicory Mixture is a product that is manufactured from roasted and ground coffee and roasted and ground chicory.
- It must be in a sound dry and dust free condition with no rancid or obnoxious flavour.
- It must be in the form of a free flowing powder or agglomerated (granules) form and have the colour, taste and flavour characteristics of coffee chicory powder.
- The mixture must contain neither any impurities not any other added substance.
- The coffee content must be at least 51per cent by mass on dry basis.
- The percentage of coffee and chicory used must be marked and mentioned on the label as provided in Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
Standards for Instant Coffee – Chicory Mixture
Moisture – Not more than 4.0 per cent.
Total ash on dry basis – Not more than 10 per cent
Acid insoluble ash on dry basis – Not more than 0.6 per cent
Caffeine (anhydrous) – Not less than 1.4 per cent on dry basis
Solubility in boiling water – Dissolves readily in 30 seconds with moderate
Solubility in cold water at 16 ± 20C – Soluble with moderate stirring in