A lollipop to banish bad breath

Israeli startup Breezy has developed a patented mint candy to keep breath fresh for up to four hours, with the help of microcapsules that gently clean the tongue. With some 50% of people suffering halitosis, Breezy CEO Hillel Lerman anticipates …

Israeli startup Breezy has developed a patented mint candy to keep breath fresh for up to four hours, with the help of microcapsules that gently clean the tongue.

Breezy CEO Hillel Lerman

With some 50% of people suffering halitosis, Breezy CEO Hillel Lerman anticipates a lot of interest in his product.

Those old mouthwash commercials had it right: Bad breath, as clichéd as it sounds, really is a big problem. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be quite so many products on drugstore shelves to combat it. The only problem is that most of them don’t work.

“There are toothpastes, mouthwashes, candies and gums you can buy to treat bad breath, but all they do is mask the problem for a few minutes,” claims Hillel Lerman, the CEO of Israeli startup Breezy. “There is no solution that treats the root of the problem – except ours.”

That solution is Breezy’s Like lollipop, a sugar-free candy confection that removes the bacteria that causes bad breath. The best part is that its effects last for more than four hours.

This probably sounds like a claim you’ve heard before, but if you look closely at the ads for the plethora of breath-freshening products for sale, you won’t find any that claim to keep your breath fresh for one hour, much less four.

“They can’t make such claims, because the best they can give you is 20 minutes or so,” Lerman says. “That’s because they just mask the problem, instead of removing the bacteria that cause bad breath, keeping breath fresh and clean.”

The efficacy of the lollipop against halitosis was shown in a series of clinical trials on 75 individuals at the Hillel Yafe May Medical Center in Israel.

That’s the main difference between Breezy’s solution and major brands of mouthwashes that give you a boost of fresh breath but cannot prevent the quick return of halitosis, which is caused by bacteria. Once the mouthwash has dissipated, the bacteria reasserts itself, and bad breath soon follows.

Breezy’s Like candy overcomes that issue, according to Lerman, with slow-release microcapsules filled with 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 unpleasant odor. When the capsules open, they release the active ingredients, which continue to act against the germs for hours.

Tasty bacteria buster

“Our Like candy offers triple protection,” says Lerman. “The candy’s microcapsules scrub; the mint in the candy freshens; and the active agents combat bacteria. Like also acts as an on-the-go tongue scraper that facilitates scraping around and at the back of the tongue – a prime area for bacteria buildup – with significantly less gag reflex.”

Like is just an example of what Breezy can do; the lollipop is merely one iteration of an anti-halitosis platform the company is developing.

“We have several patents which cover the concept and the use of microcapsules for a scraping therapeutic effect,” Lerman says. Potential products will work against smoker’s breath, dry mouth (xerostomia), oral fungus (candida/thrush), and canker sores (mouth ulcer/aphtous stomatitis).

“The Like product is ready for the market, and we are finalizing funding for packaging and marketing,” Lerman says, adding that the company is in advanced talks with a European group for distribution and marketing of Breezy technology.

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, one of Israel’s largest candy-makers. Breezy has its offices at the Trendlines Group’s Mofet B’Yehuda Venture Accelerator near Jerusalem. Trendlines is currently the main investor in the company.

“This is something the world has definitely been waiting for,” says Lerman. “With halitosis affecting approximately 50 percent of the adult population worldwide, consumers spend billions of dollars on products to make their breath smell clean and fresh. Finally, there is a product that consumers can really rely on to get rid of their bad breath. We expect a lot of people to like Like.”