Videnskab og teknologi
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Candy-coated cure for bad breath
Israeli startup Breezy’s patented Like lollipop keeps breath fresh for up to four hours, and that’s no hollow claim; there’s science behind it.
By David Halevi
If TV commercials are any indication, one of the biggest problems mankind faces is – bad breath. As it turns out, though, there is a reason for all those commercials: Fully half the population suffers from moderate to serious forms of halitosis.
Unfortunately, even with the plethora of toothpastes, mouthwashes, breath sprays and dozens of other kind of products on pharmacy shelves, the problem persists – an indication that most of those products just don’t do the job.
That’s not merely a perception, but a fact, says Hillel Lerman, CEO of Israeli startup Breezy (http://breezylike.com/). “All those solutions do is temporarily mask the problem, usually just for a few minutes. None of them actually treats the root of the problem – unlike our company’s solution.”
The science behind the lolly
Of course, every company believes that its solution is better than the competition – and there is plenty of competition in the fresh breath business. But Lerman’s solution has something none of the others have – scientific studies that prove Breezy’s technology helps keep breath clean for up to four hours.
“That’s a claim we can make because we have the scientific proof that our product works. No other product can make that claim, because all they do is mask bad breath for about 20 minutes or so,” he says.
Breezy’s main product is its Like lollipop, a sugar-free candy that removes the bacteria that causes bad breath. This long-lasting sucking candy is filled with microcapsules that slowly open, releasing safe, all-natural active agents that battle halitosis. The hard microcapsules assist in gently scraping the tongue to remove the food particles and bacteria that cause malodors.
As much of the bacteria that causes bad breath gathers at the back of the mouth, the sucking candy concept is ideal for releasing the microcapsules in the key area. As the microcapsules open in the mouth, they release the active ingredients that continue to act against the bacteria for up to four hours.
A sweet scrub
“Our Like candy offers triple protection,” says Lerman. “The microcapsules in the candy scrub; the active agents that combat bacteria; and the mint in the candy freshens. It’s really a complete and effective solution to halitosis.”
While Breezy is set to produce Like candy commercially – it’s close to a deal with a major European distributor – the technology can be applied numerous ways. The company has several patents, and is planning to develop products to combat specific oral maladies, including smoker’s breath, dry mouth (xerostomia), oral fungus (candida or thrush) and canker sores or mouth ulcers.
Along with Lerman, the Breezy team consists of co-founders Shimon Harpaz and Dr. Shlomo Barak. Harpaz has a business background, having worked with several other startups in the past, while Barak is a top Israeli dentist and maxillofacial surgeon. The company was founded in 2007 with the backing of Lenny Sackstein, founder of Carmit Confectionery (www.carmitcandy.com), one of Israel’s largest candy-makers.
Breezy has its offices at the Trendlines Group’s Mofet B’Yehuda Venture Accelerator (www.greentech.co.il) near Jerusalem. Trendlines (www.trendlines.com) is currently the main investor in the company.
“This is something the world has definitely been waiting for,” says Lerman. “Halitosis affects nearly half of the world’s adults, and consumers spend billions of dollars on products to make their breath smell clean and fresh. Unfortunately they have not been getting what they have been hoping for, but with Breezy products, they will finally find the answer to their halitosis concerns.”