Turkish-Greek partnership brings mastic products to Turkey
ISTANBULYannis Botsaris, a Greek businessmen working in China, met his future business partner, Ahmet Müderrisoğlu, when his interest in marble from the inner Aegean province of Afyon brought him to Turkey. As the friendship developed, Botsaris asked his friend what he could bring from Greece. As Müderrisoğlu and his wife were fond of mastic resin-based products, it became customary for Botsaris to bring them each time he came to Turkey.
Now, however, the pair isn’t just hoping that the Müderrisoğlus will be fond of the resin, as the partners are banking that there is a wider Turkish appetite for the product, whose use stretches back to antiquity.
Chios Mastikha is the natural resin secreted from the trunk and branches of the schinos, the Greek name for the mastic tree.
Sultan Selim II was said to be fond of it. When he came to the throne, one of his first instructions was to procure mastic resin produced on Chios Island, right across from the Aegean town of Çeşme, to the palace, according to Müderrisoğlu.
Yannis Botsaris (C) and Ahmet Müderrisoğlu (R) pose with
their mastic resin-based products.
It became the “miracle” product of the palace’s cuisine and was used as a beauty product in the Harem, as well as for healing purposes by doctors.
In time, the use of mastic resin decreased and products based on its aroma were used because of their inexpensive nature.
“It is like waking up an old taste from its sleep,” said Müderrisoğlu.
“We have a lot of work to do to establish the mastic resin culture here in Turkey,” Botsaris said at a recent dinner organized for journalists, where the menu included dishes with mastic resin.
Botsaris and Müderrisoğlu have set up the company “Akdenizli” (Mediterranean) to introduce the mastic resin products to the Turkish market.
Chios Mastikha was recognized in ancient times as much for its distinctive flavor as for its therapeutic properties. Documents show it was the first natural chewing gum of the ancient world to clean teeth and freshen the breath.
Nowadays, the scientific community has come to corroborate and document the therapeutic functions of Chios Mastikha. It has now been scientifically proven that it displays beneficial action against digestive disorders, contributes to oral hygiene, displays significant antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action, is a natural antioxidant and also aids in trauma healing and skin regeneration, according to information provided by the men’s business, the Mastikha Shop.
Exported from Greece
Currently, Chios Mastikha is exported from Greece throughout the world for use in the production of a wide range of products, including baked goods, sweets, preserves, ice cream, chocolate, chewing gum, candy, pasta, sauces, liqueur, ouzo, wine, dietary supplements, oral hygiene products, scented candles, essential oils and resin-based adhesives.