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Africa Growing Plc (AGP) in partnership with Food Scientists at Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, have patented ‘Sciiona’ a micro-coating technology’, to improve taste and performance of nutrient dense ‘superfoods powders’.

Sciiona is a new Moringa product developed by Nutritional Scientists to bring the benefits of the miracle tree to a wider audience by eliminating the bitter taste

The Company

AGP is a UK company incorporated on 27th June 2014 and is currently valued at £2,492,337. AGP.s paid up share capital is made up of 111,764 shares of £0.50. These shares will, at the close of the fund raise, be sub divided by 10 to give 1,117,640 shares of £0.05. The company is offering 33,632 shares at £2.23 per share to raise a maximum of £75,000.

The minimum investment is £44.60. These shares come with the benefit of EIS tax relief (30%). Sciiona is the brand trading name of AGP. The company is run by its two directors, Victor Thomson and Gary Walker and a team of experienced advisors. The two directors have loaned the company over £114,000 which will be converted at the same price offered to investors in this pitch.

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The Opportunity

There is a clear gap in the ‘superfood powder’ market that our patented @ Sciiona TM transferable platform technology and large pipeline of products will fill and dominate. Exciting commercial opportunities exist across the brand hierarchy: B2C (Ecommerce and retail); B2B ingredient market and own label with a pipeline of new products.

Sciiona re-defines bitter tasting ‘supergreens’, introducing Sciiona Moringa as our launch product. You may not have heard of Moringa, but Moringa is ranked number 1 in the authoritative BBC good food guide to superfood powders:

These powdered extracts, moringa, acai, maca, chlorella, baobab and spirulina are our pipeline products, which will be transformed by the Sciiona technology.

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Sciiona Moringa - Next Generation Moringa

Our solution

Platform technology (which is readily transferrable to other competitor products) micro-coats each tiny particle in edible vegetable cellulose, protecting the vitamins, minerals and proteins from heat, moisture and harsh stomach acids. It removes the bitter taste and targets release in the intestine and is nutritionally undamaged when added to hot food.

Explanatory statement from Professor Wendy Russell of the Rowett Institute

“Raw Source Plant leaf powder has a pungent smell and unpleasant taste.  This is attributed to the formation of isothiocyanates. These compounds are considered beneficial for health, so we do not want to degrade or remove these. Therefore, we have designed a microencapsulated product which has no bitter taste and retains all the nutritional benefits. We have developed a food product that can replace the current moringa powders in the market ‘as is’ with the main competitive advantage being that it is palatable. However, there are significant additional benefits in that this palatable product can be used as a food ingredient in a wide range of products (including baked goods, breads, snack bars, drinks etc.) making it more readily available to a wider group of consumers who desire a functional food, rather than a nutraceutical. We can also use the technology to flavour the product, providing enhanced palatability and the possibility of a child friendly product. We have to date worked on the leaf, but the technology can be adapted to other parts of the plant, isolated fraction (i.e. protein or fibre- rich fractions)”

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Moringa Nutritional Scientists

“Raw Moringa leaf powder has a pungent smell and unpleasant taste. This is attributed to the formation of isothiocyanates. These compounds are considered beneficial for health, so we do not want to degrade or remove them. Therefore, we have designed a micro coated product which eliminates the bitter taste and retains all the benefits. Isothiocyanates present in Moringa have health benefits. Our patented process reduces the release of isothiocyanates in the mouth but retains them, making them available for absorption elsewhere in the digestive system”

Prof. Wendy Russell Senior Nutritionist Rowett Institute, Aberdeen

In a scientific review (2005)*, Dr. Jed Fahey said: “The nutritional properties of Moringa are now so well known that there seems to be little doubt of the substantial health benefit to be realized by consumption of Moringa leaf powder."

Fahey. J., Trees for Life Journal 2005.1:5. Moringa Oleifera: A Review of The Medical Evidence For Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, And Prophylactic Properties. Part 1. www.TFLJournal.Org/article.php/2005121124931586

He also said: "In particular, this plant family is rich in compounds containing the simple sugar rhamnose, and it is rich in a fairly unique group of compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. For example, specific components of Moringa preparations that have been reported to have hypotensive, anticancer, and antibacterial activity.”

Dr. Jed Fahey Nutritional Biochemist Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine

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