Lacey, WA – January 26, 2005 – In biblical times the Egyptians hailed Aloe vera as the plant of immortality; the Chinese called it their elixir of youth. In more recent years, the trend of using Aloe vera in functional foods and beverages has expanded in Japan, Asia and Europe. Today, mainstream food and beverage brands, such as Tropicana (Pepsi), Minute Maid (Coca-Cola), Nestlē, and Dannon are jumping on the functional food bandwagon overall. With its global popularity and diverse health benefits, Aloe-based functional food products have been popular in the U.S. natural healthcare market for many years, and Aloe is poised to be the next functional food ingredient trend.
A recent report by consumer market analyst Datamonitor indicates that by the year 2008, Americans will spend almost $40 billion, up 38% from 2003, on functional foods, drinks and supplements to give benefit to their appearance, as well as to provide energy and added nutrition to handle health issues such as cholesterol and diabetes. According to Aloecorp, the world’s leading vertically integrated supplier of bioactive Aloe vera raw materials, many brands are now realizing the natural short- and long-term health enhancing benefits of using Aloe in such popular products as fruit juices, health bars, meal replacement drinks, soy and dairy milk, yogurt and yogurt drinks, sparkling beverages, enhanced waters, children’s formulas and sports/energy drinks.
Functional food and beverage products provide outstanding nutritional health benefits in an everyday food/drink format that consumers find convenient and easy to add to their daily health regimen. They have gained in popularity over dietary supplements during the past two decades, and include many now common ingredients, such as soy, lutein, lycopene, glucosamine, Omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols and ginseng. According to Ken Jones, Aloecorp’s Director of Research and Development, “Aloe has many scientifically and clinically proven health benefits that affect digestive health, blood sugar and cholesterol levels and support a healthy immune system—not to mention its role in healthy skin when taken internally. This ancient botanical is poised to be the next hot trend in the U.S. functional food and beverage market.”
Published human and animal studies with Aloe vera have shown its ability to promote healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range. Because of the numerous health problems closely associated with elevated blood sugar levels, there is increasing interest in developing natural products to address this area of concern. When formulating products, it is paramount that a standardized extract be used to guarantee consistency. Aloecorp is the only company with a standardized Aloe vera extract, ACTIValoe™, that is guaranteed for 10% polysaccharides by weight.
Among Aloe’s many attributes, Jones cites its content of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and polysaccharides as being key components of its health-enhancing qualities, and believes that Aloe will become a big hit in performance-enhancing sports drinks. Jones also referred to a recent study conducted on Aloe shown to dramatically increase levels of vitamins C and E in the bloodstream by more than 200% when consumed while taking these vitamins. “Since many sports drinks and other functional foods and beverages contain the popular antioxidant vitamins C and E, Aloe can enhance their bioavailability, and this study shows that vitamin C and E levels remain elevated over a twenty-four hour period,” said Jones. “As a result, formulators won’t have to include as much vitamin C and vitamin E into their formulas.” He suggests an optimal dosage of 150-300mg of Aloe powder extract or one to two ounces of Aloe juice once or twice a day for maximum benefit.
With all of this interest in Aloe, it is no wonder that a recent global study released in 2003 by German magazine SOFW revealed that “the number one herbal ingredient in new product creation is aloe.”
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Aloecorp (www.aloecorp.com) and sister company Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.unigenpharma.com) are subsidiaries of Univera, Inc. Unigen and Aloecorp each focus on identifying and studying the unique ingredients of medicinal botanicals (Aloecorp’s focus is on Aloe vera) and then formulating proprietary raw materials for use in cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products.
Aloecorp is a multinational company providing research-proven, bioactive Aloe vera ingredients to world markets. Aloecorp’s corporate philosophy is to “bring the best of nature to mankind,” and does so with its bioactive, standardized Aloe vera that guarantees 10% polysaccharides by weight, and is clinically proven to enhance the activity of Native Aloe gel. Since its inception in 1988, Aloecorp has been the world’s leading vertically integrated supplier of raw Aloe vera materials. All of Aloecorp’s raw Aloe vera materials have been scientifically tested for biological activity, certified pure by the International Aloe Science Council, and clinically supported in published, peer-reviewed studies. Aloecorp provides raw Aloe vera materials to finished goods manufacturers in the nutritional and dietary supplement, functional food, cosmeceutical, personal care and pharmaceutical industries. Aloecorp, ACTIValoe™, and all associated logos are registered trademarks of Aloecorp in the United States and other countries. Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has granted Aloecorp an exclusive licensing agreement to use its patented processes to manufacture ACTIValoe™.
Walt Jones, V.P. of Sales & Marketing