Irving, TX - From oral supplements and healthy beverages to common first aid topicals, Aloe vera is certainly a household name. But, as Aloe research and product options multiply, consumers are seeking more direction in their natural health purchases, asking the key question, “How do I know this product contains pure Aloe?”
With over 350 members in 28 countries, the International Aloe Science Council (IASC, www.iasc.org) has become an industry leader, providing a rigorous certification program for the Aloe products that meet the highest standards of quality and purity. Evaluating manufacturing processes and subjecting product samples to annual and random tests, the IASC label has become a valuable mark for the discerning consumer.
“It’s kind of like an FDA inspection,” IASC Executive Director Gene Hale said of the random product samplings. “We take the samples to outside independent labs for testing.” The finished product is certified annually and must contain a minimum of 15% certified Aloe vera. Manufacturing facilities are also inspected and certified.
Such third-party certification is especially valuable now, as recent research has offered growing support for lesser-known Aloe vera benefits including the plant’s ability to promote cardiovascular, digestive, blood sugar, immune and dermal health, along with possessing incredible antioxidant and detoxification properties. But, that whole-health support is only possible when Aloe vera is processed in a fashion that preserves its purity, polysaccharide content and overarching bioactivity.
The IASC began their certification program in the 1980’s when it became evident that abuses in the industry were resulting in final products that carried little of the inherent benefits of Aloe vera. Similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or the National Sanitation Foundation certification programs, the IASC label has become a gold standard in the world of Aloe products. “As an industry watchdog, it is the position of the IASC to have its members follow proper labeling and claim procedures,” said Hale. “If claims are made, they are to have substantiated documentation and studies that are acceptable to appropriate regulatory bodies.”
In addition to certifying existing Aloe products, the IASC also supports ongoing Aloe vera research through overseeing an endowment fund for research projects and by offering the Chairman Yun-Ho Lee Award of Scientific Merit, which is given annually to one scientist who has made outstanding original contribution to Aloe science. Most recently, the IASC sponsored a human study at UC Davis, which found that IASC-certified Aloe vera enhances the bioavailability of vitamins C and B12 and the ORAC capacity of the plasma.
The International Aloe Science Council is a non-profit trade organization for the Aloe vera industry world-wide, including growers, scientists and manufacturers supporting research and development and insuring the purity of Aloe when used as an ingredient in products.