Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:08 UK

Favourite sweet in mint condition

Generic picture of a Polo mint
The mints have been produced in York for 60 years

One of Yorkshire's most famous exports which was designed to fill a hole in the confectionary market has celebrated its 60th anniversary.

Polo mints first rolled off production lines at the Rowntree factory, now Nestle Rowntree, in York in 1948. Now 20 million are produced daily.

The sweets put the city on the confectionery map along with KitKats, Aero bars and Smarties.

The original mints went on sale in 1948 with the round price tag of 2d.

The manufacturer is still using the original recipe for the sweets which went on sale on 15 April 1948 in the classic mint variety.

Jumping elephants

Since then there have been a number of variations along the theme with fruit-flavoured offerings and a sugar-free version.

Presses turning out the popular mints could produce 32,400 sweets every minute if running continuously at full speed.

And an area equivalent to 160 football pitches is used to grow the mint plants needed to produce the oil to flavour the little round sweets.

Nestle Rowntree, estimates it would take two billion Polos to cover the same distance as the circumference of the Earth.

It said a year's production of the mints would be the same length as the distance around the globe two-and-a-half times.

The pressure the mint is put under when it is formed is the equivalent to the weight of two elephants jumping on it, the firm claims.

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