Our main raw materials
Extracts from Greek medicinal herbs, plants and oils
There have been over 6,500 recorded Greek species of medicinal and aromatic plants, of which 1,500 are endemic. In comparison, Germany, with an area three times that of Greece has 2,700 species, of which 6 are endemic. Namely, Greece has a comparative advantage in growing medicinal plants.
IMON, in collaboration with special bodies and certification authorities, prepares Greek medicinal plant blends (sage, thyme, mint, rosemary, mountain tea, etc.) to enrich its bio-functional food with unique recipes.
I-M-Ó-N enriches its bio-functional foods with unique recipes of mixtures of rare endemic Greek aromatic and medicinal plants & herbs
The main ingredient of biofunctional food is ewe-goat milk whey protein, a product derived from ewe-goat milk whey obtained from cheese production in Greek traditional farms.
Recent studies revealed both the nutritional and the value for health improvement of this raw material, with respect to human metabolism. Comparing whey from different animals (e.g. cows, etc.), the benefits are manifold:
At the level of composition, ewe-goat milk whey protein was compared with commercially available WPC of bovine origin and benchmarked against breast milk. Whey Pro is 100-1000 times richer in bioactive nutrient nucleotide components [a very important factor to promote intestinal development and maturation, reinforce intestinal healing after injury (e.g. diarrhoea) and with beneficial effects on the immune system] and oligosaccharides similar to those present in human milk compared to bovine WPC (Kerasioti, Stagos, Tzimi, & Kouretas, Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2016).
Human milk oligosaccharides are important bioactive nutrients and they have been proven to have many beneficial effects on health, including a probiotic activity and stimulation of the immune system (Espinosa, Temez & Prieto, 2007). The levels and the composition of human milk oligosaccharides are unique and milk contains more than 130 different oligosaccharides. Moreover, the levels of oligosaccharides in human milk are 10-100 times higher than in the milk of any other species. From a commercial standpoint, sources that are rich in oligosaccharides similar to those in human milk can be used as important components for biofunctional food, such as hospital and baby food. The study of the oligosaccharides profile revealed that
Whey Pro snacks are quite similar to human milk, compared to bovine WPC80.
Organic coconut sugar is derived from the nectar of the Gula java coconut blossoms. It does not undergo any processing, filtering, contains no preservatives and is unbleached.
It can be used anywhere, as an alternative to sugar. It is considered one of the healthiest forms of sweetener since it has naturally a low glycaemic index (GI). The low glycaemic index releases glucose more slowly and steadily and thus, it is better absorbed by the body to control blood sugar levels.
Coconut sugar’s GI score is 35. By comparison, most sugar products produced from cane have a GI of about 68. This makes coconut sugar a better choice for diabetics who need to follow a diet low in a glycaemic index and furthermore, gradual and controlled release of the energy levels between meals helps maintain a healthy weight.
With an abundance of vitamins and 16 amino acids, the “coconut sugar” product has a nutritional value far richer than all other commercially available sweeteners.
Resistant starch contains the same calories as digestible starch, namely about 4 calories/g, but it cannot be absorbed. It is a low viscosity, highly fermentable dietary fibre which is resistant in both humans and animals. Starch consists of amylose and amylopectin, which affect the quality of the texture of processed foods. Resistant starch having high amylose content in comparison with commercial flours that are low in amylose. Unlike amylopectin, amylose is practically insoluble in water. This causes the content of the starch in amylose to determine the total solubility of the starch.
Resistant starch does not release glucose into the small intestine, but on the contrary, it reaches the large intestine, where it is consumed or fermented by colon bacteria (intestine microflora). The fermentation of resistant starch produces short-chain fatty acids, including acetic, propionic, butyric acids and increases bacterial cell mass.
The short-chain fatty acids produced in the colon, where they are rapidly absorbed from the colon, then metabolised in the epithelial cells of the colon, liver or other tissues. Fermentation of resistant starch produces more butyric acid than other types of dietary fibre. Butyric acid does far more than nourish intestinal cells. It controls inflammation and inhibits the growth of cancer (Jakobsdottir, Xu, Molin, Ahrne, & Nyman, 2013; Thomas, Ockhuizen, & Suzuki, 2014).
Resistant starch reduces glycaemia when it replaces the available quantity of carbohydrate in a meal. This formed the basis of a recent health claim by EFSA (Robert-son, 2012). In 2016, the U.S. FDA approved a qualified health claim stating that resistant starch might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, although the FDA requires specific labelling language, such as the guideline concerning resistant starch: “High-amylose maize resistant starch may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.” FDA contacts special research for the evidence of this health claim.
Lemon Balm extract comes from the leaves of the Melissa officinalis plant. Melissa plant has always been a favorite of beekeepers. Its popular and botanical name Melissa is due to the fact that it attracts bees very strongly and is considered as healing as honey. It is characterized as the herb that acts against aging and in favor of longevity. It has been known since ancient times and was used for many purposes. The medicinal name of the herb is Melissa officinalis. This shrubby plant is native to south-central Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean region and Central Asia. Tea, essential oil and extract of Melissa are used in traditional and alternative medicine. Melissa smells like lemon and contains, among other things, volatile oils (known for their soothing properties), polyphenols, tannins and flavonoids.
It is known for its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Melissa polyphenols help fight bacteria that cause infections, such as streptococcus and mycobacteria.
Melissa also contains the substance eugenol which is a natural anesthetic and helps relieve wound pain. Dioscorides suggested Melissa leaves for wounds and adding the plant to wine to cure various diseases. Pliny used it to stop bleeding. It’s also used in cosmetic products that treat acne, skin diseases and herpes (herpes simplex). In general, Melissa extract calms and soothes irritated skin and acts as a skin tonic.
In medicine Melissa is used as an extract. It is used as an anxiolytic or sedative. The herb also relieves the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract, being a very good digestive. It relieves tension and stress as well as having a tonic effect on the heart and circulatory system, causing dilation of peripheral blood vessels, resulting in a reduction in blood pressure. Melissa plant and its derivatives have also been shown to improve mood and mental performance.
The olive tree is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet and a symbol of our culture. More and more studies are revolving around the beneficial properties of olive leaves in the field of health. The use of olive leaves is an ancient practice by all the peoples around the Mediterranean and especially by the Egyptians and the Greeks.
Olive leaves are still used in modern times as a medicinal herb. The olive tree is an extremely durable and century-old tree. This is due to the presence of chemicals substancies that are naturally present in the olive plant and are called polyphenols. One of the most active polyphenols in olives is oleuropein.
Oleuropein, a natural product of the secoiridoid group, is the main compound of olive leaves, while simple phenols, such as hydroxytyrosol, and other secoiridoids are present in lower amounts. Oleuropein constitutes 6-9% of the dry weight of olive leaves. and is the main phenolic component of the olive.
Research has proved that the active ingredients of olive leaves have a significant activity against various microorganisms that infect the human body such as bacteria, fungi and viruses.
In particular, the main polyphenolic component of the extract, oleuropein, according clinical studies, has inhibitory properties of microorganisms, microbicidal action and also a wide range of pharmacological and health promoting properties including antiarrhythmic, spasmolytic, immune stimulant, cardioprotective, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-thrombic effects.
Olive leaf extract has antivirus and antibacterial activity with a specialization in the microorganisms that infect the upper respiratory tract and intestine.
Biofunctional foods: targeting the future.
Realizing the importance and the benefits of genomics, metabolomics and epigenetics and their effects on personalized nutrition, IMON biofunctional food will be the most innovative nutrition proposal of the future.