Aloe Vera

Aloe’s functionality in foods

Aloe vera – Latin for ‘true aloe’ – has long been associated with skin health, cell growth, digestive health, and other benefits, and while scientific evidence of these is sometimes contradictory, it has a growing following around the world. Studies are currently underway to establish its efficacy in the absorption of vitamins, as an anti-inflammatory agent, and an aid to the digestive system, says US-based CAC (Concentrated Aloe Corporation).

Sharon Bolel of Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing, sole distributors of CAC products in South Africa, says that some of aloe’s ingredients – including polysaccharides, anthraquinone glycosides, lectins, and mannans – have kept it top of mind for an increasing number of food product formulators aiming to increase the functional value of their products.

“It has been particularly interesting to see the increased use of aloe vera in products such as ice cream, yoghurt, confectionery, beverages, and more,” she says. “Of note is a Japanese Kit Kat developed by Nestlé in collaboration with a cosmetics company that is said to benefit the skin. It is a sweet, creamy and tangy white yoghurt chocolate with aloe overtones, which is proving to be popular in Japan. Yoghurts enriched with aloe vera continue to do well, and while most popular in Asian countries, are also increasingly found on European refrigerator shelves.

“The next emerging trend we’ve picked up is aloe vera in ice cream, to the extent that CAC formulated a recipe for its customers that incorporates a hearty dose of one of one of CAC’s most popular products for consumption – food grade Aloe Vera Gel Concentrate 10X – and is said to be delicious and healthy.”

In response to customer expectations, CAC has launched a range of products:

  • Aloe Vera Gel Freeze Dried Powder 200X Organic – a 100% pure inner fillet Aloe Vera.
  • Aloe Vera Gel Freeze Dried Powder SC Organic – made with pure inner fillet Aloe Vera and an organic carrier.
  • Aloe Vera Gel Freeze Dried Powder LC Organic – also made with pure inner fillet Aloe Vera and an organic carrier.

CAC is in the process of certifying these three products, which are suitable for ingestion and topical application, through the International Aloe Science Council and through QAI Organic Certification under the NOP and EC834/2007.

“CAC has dedicated itself to obtaining the highest quality standards set by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC), as well as organic certifications from Quality Assurance International (QAI) and Ecocert (Organic and Natural cosmetics),” says Bolel. “With that in mind, the company has established its own quality assurance program, issuing Certificates of Authenticity for its Aloe oil, which guarantees its commitment to freshness and purity.”

Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing: