The Athens Chamber of Commerce recently awarded some of the most innovative start-ups. Among them is the “12 Gods”, which consists mainly of scientists, such as agronomists, chemists and lawyers. This Start up collaborates with growers from Evros to Crete and from Samos to Epirus. The collected herbs are packaged in the most original way: in espresso capsules.
“I tried to find a solution to make Greek products more” digestible “for the modern consumer”, explains to APE-MPE the agronomist and founder of the start-up, Filippos Zempilas and continues: “I first approached to see his needs. One of them is time. Now we all have reduced time. So things that we liked in the past, but were time consuming, we have stopped doing. ” Indeed, making a decoction from a variety of herbs until recently took more time. Now, thanks to Greek innovation, varieties of dozens of herbs such as hibiscus, louiza, cardamom, chamomile, nettle are “served” in the cup in a few seconds, with the push of a button.
But in addition to saving time when making a product, what more and more consumers are looking for are the beneficial ingredients. The products that will soon be in retail both in Greece and abroad, have secured the coveted health claims. “We work with growers who cultivate with modern forms of organic farming and under good practices. We built a network of growers with aromatic plants in Greece. I went all over the country, producer-producer. For the first time in the world, a decoction has health claims “, points out to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency, Filippos Zempilas, who, among other things, collaborated with the Science Park of Patras for the registration. Clinical evidence suggests that foods with proven health claims may have health benefits or reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Health claims are formal, substantiated labels on a product and the framework is defined by Executive Decision 2013/63 of the European Commission.
The innovation of the product, apart from the reduced preparation time and the health claims, also consists in the composition of the capsule itself. It is indicative that every year about sixty billion plastic or aluminum capsules are produced, with incalculable consequences for the environment. Greek minds offered another solution to modern problems: biodegradable capsules. These decompose completely within 23 weeks of consuming the product, according to the manufacturers.
“The capsule blend is degraded to compost within seven weeks after use and returns to the subsoil within 23 weeks. It is the first capsule to have an oxygen barrier filter. So, it does the same job as aluminum, but it is not aluminum. The oxygen barrier is maintained for twenty-four months. So for two years, whatever the expiration date, no air passes. This is achieved as the product is sealed in a closed nitrogen environment. Thus, the herbal mixture remains fresh until consumed and is not infested with microorganisms. It is not only the freshness but also that it is not altered, it is not oxidized and the antioxidants and polyphenols of the herbs are not destroyed “, points out Mr. Zembilas.
The fledgling company “12Gods” was inspired by the name of Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Galen who are said to have discovered the beneficial properties of herbs, used to give them names from the twelve gods. These ancient myths are enclosed in every package. The end result required study and hard work for three years. The culmination of the effort, apart from the awards, one of which was made by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is talks with retail “giants” across the Atlantic and Asia.