|▲ Seoul Propolis / CEO Seungwan Lee|
Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It contains various beneficial components, including flavonoids. Propolis is known to prevent cancer cell from growing and has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-aging effects. The production and selling of propolis in South Korea started in 1996 as health supplements.
As of 2019, it is used for a variety of products from personal care products to cosmetics and animal feeds. What makes Seoul Propolis standout from the industry is that the company developed the world’s first WEEP technology (alcohol free & water-soluble propolis) on which it produces the best quality propolis extract available in the world.
The age of homo-hundred allures more people, rich or poor, to the health supplement market and the media runs a special section or regularly updates helpful information on how to keep our health for curious public. Subsequently, the industry is booming and related products are being poured in the market. Among many health supplements, propolis is one of the highly sought after and pharmaceutical firms are competitively releasing propolis-contained products.
Propolis in general is fat-soluble. The propolis through alcohol extraction is hard to mix with water and other substance and it has strong scent and is very sticky. PROBEE, the innovation of Seoul Propolis, on the other hand, is extracted from its world’s first WEEP technology that is 100% water-soluble, non-sticky and smooth scent which makes it easy to apply to various products. In addition, its high absorbing rate maximizes its performance and effect in our body.
Flavonoid, contained in propolis, dissolves in alcohol but not in water while minerals and polysaccharide the other way round. In other words, the WEEP technology extracts flavonoid, minerals and polysaccharide proper and effective. Recognizing this, big brands in Korea such as Kolmar B&H, LG Household & Health Care, Kwang Dong Pharmaceutical and Dongwon F&B use it as an ingredient for health supplements, drinks, cosmetics and personal care products. PROBEE, the brand of Seoul Propolis, in particular, was designated as an excellent product by the Public Procurement Service.
Research, Test and Contribution
The Seoul Propolis in-house research lab, run by propolis specialists, offers data on test and safety results of products that are needed or demanded from clients. The quality control is implemented and maintained by the in-house team backed by Korean Analytical Technique Research Institute.
In 2007, the company introduced the WPSF (World Propolis Science Forum) to promote exchanges between industry and academic specialists and it led to obtaining OTC (Over The Counter) from the US Food and Drug Administration. Seoul Propolis also obtained ISO 9001 and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certificate from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
Once an importer of propolis back in the days, Seoul Propolis turned South Korea as one of the exporters of propolis especially to the US, Turkey, Indonesia and quite recently Vietnam, all thanks to its unquenchable thirst for bringing better health to human beings on earth.
In recognition, the Ministry of Science and ICT approved the lab of Seoul Propolis as the second lab of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, followed by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups designating Seoul Propolis as an emerging exporter, as well as the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy selecting the products as Korean world-class products.
CEO Seungwan Lee, as a veteran in the field, himself has proved his capability and passion by winning the ministerial prize from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and a grand gold prize at the APIMONDIA International Apicultural Congress held in Daejeon.
Lee is received as a pioneer of the Korean health supplement industry who first introduced processed ‘aloe vera’ and ‘propolis’ (1995) to Korea.
“It is not standing on the peak of the mountain
That makes you strong but
Says Lee. In fact, he is an enthusiastic mountaineer who recently challenged Annapurna of the Himalayas on trekking. Also as a man of social contribution, he has given mentoring for 8 years to students in Daejeon through the Korea Student Aid Foundation. When asked about future plan, he said that he was determined to pioneer the African market where propolis has a huge potential to prosper in the near future.
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