Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 525–533 | Cite as

Processing, food applications and safety of aloe vera products: a review

  • Kulveer Singh Ahlawat
  • Bhupender Singh KhatkarEmail author


Aloe vera is used for vigor, wellness and medicinal purposes since rigvedic times. Health benefits of aloe vera include its application in wound healing, treating burns, minimizing frost bite damage, protection against skin damage from x-rays, lung cancer, intestinal problems, increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL), reducing low density lipoprotein (LDL), reducing blood sugar in diabetics, fighting acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), allergies and improving immune system. Phytochemistry of aloe vera gel has revealed the presence of more than 200 bioactive chemicals. Aloe vera gel is extracted from its leaves and appropriate processing techniques are needed for stabilization as well as preparation of the end products. The industries involved in processing of aloe vera need Government surveillance to ensure that the aloe vera products have beneficial bio-active chemicals as per claims of the manufacturers. Regulatory bodies also need to look into the safety and toxicological aspects of aloe vera products for food applications. The claims made for medicinal value of aloe products should be supported by authentic and approved clinical trial data. It is presumptive to mention that nutraceutical claims of aloe products made by the manufacturers are numerous. However, approved clinical evidences are available only for lowering LDL, increasing HDL, decreasing blood glucose level, treating genital herpes and psoriases.


Aloe vera Food applications Medicinal value Processing Safety 


  1. Alemdar S, Agaoglu S (2009) Investigations of in-vitro antimicrobial activity of aloe vera juice. J Anim Vet Adv 8(1):99–102Google Scholar
  2. Ang NU, Intaphan P, Saengo E (1996) Development of orange aloe vera jam. Proceeding of the 13th Rajamangala institute of technology annual conference: Food science and home economics Lampang (Thailand), pp 39–45Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous (2006) For Aloe vera as semi finish products like gel, powder and finish products like aloe vera drink or fizzy tablets. Technology transfer and project management network, Ensymm consulting of biotechnology. Accessed on 5 October 2010
  4. Anonymous (2008) Aloe vera: History, science and medicinal uses. Accessed 5 October 2010
  5. Antoni FG, Pablo S, Susana S, Carmen R (2003) Effect of heat treatment and dehydration on bioactive polysaccharide acemannan and cell wall polymers from Aloe barbdensis miller. Carbohydr Polym 51:397–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Atherton P (1997) Aloe vera: myth or medicine. Accessed 28 December 2010
  7. Atherton P (1998) First aid plant. Chem Brit 34:33–36Google Scholar
  8. Bozzi A, Perrin C, Austin S, Arce Vera F (2007) Quality and authenticity of commercial aloe vera gel powders. Food Chem 103(1):22–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bradley PR (1992) British herbal compendium. British Herbal Medicine AssociationGoogle Scholar
  10. Cerqveira L, McKnight LS, Rodriguez S, Turner CE (1999) Bifurcated method to process aloe whole leaf. US Patent 5 925 357Google Scholar
  11. Chan HT, Cavaletto CG (1986) Effects of deareation and storage temperature on quality of aseptically packaged guava puree. J Food Sci 51:165–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Choi S, Chung MH (2003) A review on the relationship between Aloe vera components and their biological effects. Semin Integr Med 1:53–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Christaki EV, Florou-Paneri PC (2010) Aloe vera: a plant for many uses. J Food Agric Environ 8(2):245–249Google Scholar
  14. Coats BC (1979) Hypollergenic stabilized aloe vera gel. US Patent number 4 178 172Google Scholar
  15. Coats BC (1994) Methods of processing stabilized aloe vera gel obtained from the whole aloe vera leaf. US Patent 5 356 811Google Scholar
  16. Dagne E, Bisrat D, Viljoen A, Van Wyk BE (2000) Chemistry of aloe species. Curr Org Chem 4:1055–1078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Davis RH (1997) Aloe vera- A scientific approach. Vantage Press Inc, New York, pp 290–306Google Scholar
  18. Do-Sang L, Ryu II, Kap-Sang L, Yang-See S, Seung-Ho C (1999) Optimisation in the preparation of aloe vinegar by Acetobactor sp. and inhibitory effect against lipase activity. Hanguk Nongwhahak Hoechi 42:105–110Google Scholar
  19. Eison-Perchonok MH, Downes TW (1982) Kinetics of ascorbic acid oxidation as a function of dissolved oxygen concentration and temperature. J Food Sci 47:765–773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eshun K, He Q (2004) Aloe vera: a valuable ingredient for the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 44:91–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Farnsworth NR, Fong HHS, Mahady GB (1999) Aloe vera gel. In: WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants Vol 1. Malta pp 43–49Google Scholar
  22. Femenia A, Sanchez ES, Simal S, Rosello C (1999) Compositional features of polysaccharides from Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) plant tissues. Carbohydr Polym 39:109–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gautam S, Awasthi P (2007) Nutrient composition and physio-chemical characteristics of Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) powder. J Food Sci Technol 44(2):224–225Google Scholar
  24. Ghannam N, Kingston M, Al-Meshaal IA, Tariq M, Parman NS, Woodhouse N (1986) The antidiabetic activity of aloe: preliminary clinical and experimental observation. Horm Res 24(4):288–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gjestad G (1971) Chemical studies of aloe vera juice. Adv Front Plant Sci 28:110–112Google Scholar
  26. Gowda D, Neelisiddaiah B, Anjaneyalo Y (1980) Structural studies of polysaccharides from Aloe saponaria and Aloe vanbalenni. Carbohydr Res 83:402–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Grindlay D, Reynolds T (1986) The aloe vera phenomenon: a review of the properties and modern uses of the leaf parenchyma gel. J Ethnopharmacol 16:117–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hamman JH (2008) Composition and application of aloe vera leaf gel. Molecules 13:1599–1616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Harding TBC (1979) Aloes of the world: a checklist, index and code. Excelsa 9:57–94Google Scholar
  30. Hastuti S (1999) Fresh beverage from aloe vera. Butetin Ilmiah Instiper (Indonesia) 6:39–45Google Scholar
  31. He Q, Liu C, Zhang T (2002) Study on nonenzymatic browning of aloe products and its inhibition methods. Food Sci (Chenses) 23(10):53–56Google Scholar
  32. Hernadez RJ, Giacin JR (1998) Factors affecting permeation, sorption and migration process in package- products system. In: Food storage stability. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida USA, pp 269–329Google Scholar
  33. Hirat T, Suga T (1983) The efficiency of aloe plants, chemical constituents and biological activities. Cosmetics and Toiletries 98:105–108Google Scholar
  34. Homcare Iberica SA (1983) Stabilization of a clear gel from aloe vera leaves. Span ES 502 307. Patent of IntroductionGoogle Scholar
  35. Hu Y, Xu J, Hu Q (2003) Evaluation of antioxidant potential of aloe vera (Aloe barbdensis Miller) extracts. J Agric Food Chem 51(26):7788–7791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hunter D, Frumkin A (1991) Adverse reaction to Vit E and aloe vera preparations after dermabration and chemical peel. Cutis 47(3):193–195Google Scholar
  37. Hutter J, Salman M (1996) Anti-inflammatory C-glucosyl chromone from Aloe barbadensis. J Nat Prod 59(5):541–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kacem B, Mathews RF, Grandall PG, Cornell JA (1987) Non-enzymatic browning in aseptic packaged orange drinks: effects of amino acids, dearation and anaerobic storage. J Food Sci 52:1665–1667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kemper KJ, Chiou V (1999) Aloe vera. Longwood herbal task and The Center for Holistic Pediatric Education and Research Accessed 4 October 2010
  40. Kennedy FC, Rivera ZS, Loyd LL, Warner FP, Jumel K (1992) L-ascorbic acid stability in aseptically processed orange juice in tetra brick cartons and the effect of oxygen. Food Chem 45:327–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lachenmeier K, Kuepper U, Musshoff F, MadeaB RH, Lachenmeier DW (2005) Quality control of aloe vera beverages. Electronic J Environ Agric Food Chem 4(4):1033–1042Google Scholar
  42. Lawless J, Allen J (2000) Aloe vera- Natural wonder care. Harper Collins Publishers, Hammersmith, pp 5–12Google Scholar
  43. Lee EH, Choi SD (1994) Studies on the manufacture of aloe yoghurt. J Agric Technol Res Institute Chinju University (Korea Republic) 7:55–59Google Scholar
  44. Lee J, Hand-Yoon YH (1997) Characteristics of aloe vera suspended liquid yoghurt inoculated with Lactobacillus Casei YIT 9018. Korean J Animal Sci 39:93–100Google Scholar
  45. Luta G, McAnalley BH (2005) Aloe vera: chemical composition and methods used to determine its presence in commercial products. GlycoSci Nutr 6(4):1–12Google Scholar
  46. Maret RH (1975) Process for preparing extract of aloe vera. US Patent 3 878 197Google Scholar
  47. Maughan RG (1984) Methods to increase colour fastness of stabilized aloe vera. US Patent 4 465 629Google Scholar
  48. Meadows TP (1980) Aloe as a humectant in new skin preparation. Cosmet Toiletries 95(11):51–56Google Scholar
  49. Moor ED, McAnalley BH (1995) A drink containing mucilaginous polysaccharides and its preparations. US Patent 5 443 830Google Scholar
  50. Morrow DM, Rappaport MJ, Strick RA (1980) Hypersensitivity to aloe. Arch Dermatol 116:106–1065CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Newton LE (1979) In defense of the name aloe vera. Cactus Succul J GB 41:29–30Google Scholar
  52. Ni Y, Tizard IR (2004) Analytical methodology: The gel-analysis of aloe pulp and its derivatives. In: Reynolds T (ed) Aloes the genus aloe. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 111–126Google Scholar
  53. Ovadova RG, Lapchich VF, Ovodov YS (1975) Polysaccharides in Aloe arboresens. Khimija Prirodykh Soedinenii 11:3–5Google Scholar
  54. Peng SY, Norman J, Curtin G, Corrier D, Mc Daniel HR, Busbee D (1991) Decreased mortality of Norman murine sarcoma in mice treated with the immunomodulator, Acemannan. Mol Biother 3:79–87Google Scholar
  55. Qian H (2002) Study on the technology of aloe gel freeze dried powder. Food Fermentation Industry 28:49–52Google Scholar
  56. Ramachandra CT, Srinivasa Rao P (2008) Processing of aloe vera leaf gel: a review. Am J Agril Biol Sci 3(2):502–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Robert HD (1997) Aloe vera: a scientific approach. Vantage Press Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  58. Saccu D, Bogoni P, Procida G (2001) Aloe exudate: characterization by reversed phase HPLC and headspace GC–MS. J Agric Food Chem 49(10):4526–4530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sadler GD, Braddock RJ (1990) Oxygen permealibity of low density polyethylene as a function of lomonene absorption: an approach to modeling flavour (Scalping). J Food Sci 55:587–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Seoshin Y, Lee KS, Lee JS, Lee CH (1995) Preparation of yoghurt added with Aloe vera and its quality characteristics. J Korean Soc Food Nutr 24:254–260Google Scholar
  61. Shah AH, Qureshi S, Tariq M, Ageel AM (1989) Toxicity studies on six plants used in the traditional Arab system of medicine. Phytother Res 3:25–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Shelton M (1991) Aloe vera, its chemical and therapeutic properties. Int J Dermatol 30:679–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sims P, Ruth M, Zinmerman ER (1971) Effect of aloe vera on Herpes simplex and Herpes virus (strains Zoster). Aloe vera of American Archive 1:239–240Google Scholar
  64. Singh A, Singh AK (2009) Optimization of processing variables for the preparation of herbal bread using Aloe vera gel. J Food Sci Technol 46(4):335–338Google Scholar
  65. Sydiskis RJ, Owen DG, Lohr JL, Rosler KHA, Blomster RN (1991) Inactivation of enveloped viruses by anthraquinones extracted from plants. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 35(12):2463–2466Google Scholar
  66. Tramell DJ, Dalsis DE, Malone CT (1986) Effect of oxygen on taste, ascorbic acid loss and browning for HTST pasteurized, single strength orange juice. J Food Sci 51:1021–1023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Tucker AO, Duke JA, Foster S (1989) Botanical nomenclature of medicinal plants. In: Cracker LE, Simon JE (eds) Herbs, spices, and medicinal plants, vol 4. AR Oryx Press, Phoenix, pp 169–242Google Scholar
  68. Tyler V (1994) Herbs of choice. In: The therapeutic use of phyto medicine. Binghamton Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, pp 131–135Google Scholar
  69. Vogler BK, Ernst E (1999) Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness. Br J Gen Pract 49:823–828Google Scholar
  70. Waller GR, Mangiafica S, Ritchey CR (1978) A chemical investigation of Aloe barbedensis Miller. Proc Okla Acad Sci 58:69–76Google Scholar
  71. Wang YT (1993) Bases of aloe certification. Aloe Today 27–29Google Scholar
  72. Wei L, Chuncheng Y, Huafeng Z, Rugang Y (2004) Preparation of aloe-herbs health beverage. Food Sci China 25:207–209Google Scholar
  73. Yagi A, Shibata S, Nishioka I, Iwarde S, Ishida Y (1982) Cardiac stimulant action of constituents of Aloe saponaria. J Pharm Sci 71:739–741CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yaron A, Cohen E, Arad SM (1992) Stabilization of aloe vera gel by interaction with sulfated polysaccharides from micro algae and with xantham gum. J Agric Food Chem 40:1316–1320CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kulveer Singh Ahlawat
    • 1
  • Bhupender Singh Khatkar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food TechnologyG. J. University of Science and TechnologyHisarIndia

Personalised recommendations