Aloe vera belongs to the class of monocotyledonous plants and Liliaceae, and is a perennial evergreen succulent plant. It originated in the African continent. According to research, there are more than 300 species of wild aloe. It is very popular among the public, mainly because it is easy to grow and is an ornamental plant with both flowers and leaves. The natural extract from Aloe vera L., Aloe arborescens, and Aloe chinensis has edible, medicinal and skin care and beauty effects.
Aloe vera is rich in anthraquinone compounds, including: aloe rhubarb glycosides, aloe emodin, anthraphenols, aloin and other biologically active hydroxyanthrone derivatives. Such active substances are not only bactericidal, antibacterial, and decomposing toxins, eliminate inflammation and promote wound healing, but also have the effect of killing tumor cells. Aloe polysaccharides can improve the body’s immunity. Among them, mannan is used to prevent and treat cancer and AIDS. In addition, aloe also contains a variety of free amino acids and trace elements including 8 essential amino acids, so that aloe has a good effect in disease prevention and beauty and skin care. It is precisely because of these effects of Aloe that it is widely used in cosmetics, food, health care products and other industries. Here we focus on the application of Aloe vera extract in food industry.
The Nutritional Value of Aloe Vera Extract
Aloe polysaccharide is the main component of aloe vera gel except water. It accounts for more than 60% of the total solids of aloe gel. Its basic structure is composed of linear β-(1,4)-D-mannose-based units. A kind of long-chain polymer, the monosaccharides of polysaccharides in different varieties of aloe vera and the nutritional value of mole aloe and its application in the food industry.
Modern scientific research shows that aloe polysaccharides have anti-aging effects, delay the atrophy and degeneration of the thymus, and improve the immune function of the body. Aloe polysaccharides, especially mannans, have a certain effect in the prevention and treatment of cancer and AIDS. At the same time, aloe polysaccharides have a significant protective effect on radiation damage. In recent years, some new studies have found that aloe polysaccharides can also reduce blood sugar, protect the liver, and improve myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.
Amino Acids and Organic Acids
The total amount of crude protein in the dry matter of aloe vera is 9.47%. It is rich in 19 kinds of amino acids including arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, leucine, isoleucine, tryptophan, threonine, phenylalanine and lysine. Eight kinds of essential amino acids that are necessary for the human body but cannot be synthesized are found in the fresh leaf juice of aloe vera, and the composition ratio of the amino acids is relatively balanced. The aspartic acid and serine in aloe are amino acids that are beneficial to skin metabolism, which can prevent the damage and oxidation of the epidermis from ultraviolet rays in the sun, promote the reduction of epidermal cells, and improve the ability of anti-radiation.
The roots, stems and leaves of aloe vera contain acetic acid, caprylic acid, succinic acid, malic acid, citric acid, lactic acid and other organic acids. Most of these organic acids are combined with potassium, sodium, calcium ions or alkaloids and exist in the form of salts.
The organic acid contained in aloe vera is an intermediate product of fat and protein metabolism, and it is an important link in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein. The organic acids in aloe vera can promote blood circulation in the body, soften hardened arteries, lower cholesterol levels, balance the pH of the skin, and prevent the formation of melanin.
Vitamins and Minerals
Aloe vera leaf juice contains a variety of vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin H. The vitamins in aloe vera have a good skin care effect and have a good therapeutic effect on dark spots and freckles. At the same time, it also has anti-cancer effects. On the one hand, it enhances humoral immunity and helps anti-tumor drugs to kill tumor cells; on the other hand, general carcinogenic toxins are oxidized and decomposed in the human body, requiring the participation of vitamin B2 and other vitamins.
At present, fresh aloe leaves have been found and determined to contain mineral elements such as silicon, aluminum, magnesium, calcium, manganese, cobalt, titanium, chromium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, nickel, vanadium, silver, strontium, germanium and so on. The germanium in aloe vera exists in the form of organic state. Organic germanium has good effects on uterine cancer, lung cancer, liver cirrhosis, leukemia, etc.; it also has obvious effects on cerebral thrombosis, kidney disease, gastric ulcer, and schizophrenia.
Application in Food Industry
Among wild fruits and vegetables, aloe vera is one of the richer nutrients. Its nutritional ratio and safety basically meet the requirements recommended by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). And because aloe vera contains a variety of vitamins, amino acids and inorganic salts, eating aloe vera can satisfy a variety of nutrients necessary for the body. At present, as a kind of food raw material with the same medicine and food, aloe vera extract has been processed into various aloe foods and beverages.
As a trendy health beverage, aloe beverage has a very broad prospect. Aloe vera is often used in refreshing drinks, and a variety of new aloe drinks have been developed. The production process and formula of aloe particles in beverages were tested by selecting appropriate curing agents and stabilizers. Aloe particles were developed with crisp taste, uniform distribution, unique smell of aloe, sweet and sour aloe refreshing beverage.
In addition, using aloe juice and aloe fruit granules as raw materials, after washing and peeling, blanching enzymes, color protection, curing and other processes, and adding white sugar, citric acid, stabilizers, etc., aloe leaf pulp suspension beverage and aloe pulp beverage.
When used alone, aloe vera extract has shortcomings such as thin fragrance, coarse taste and poor shape. Combining it with natural food materials such as fruit juice and vegetable juice to make a variety of composite health drinks can make up for the shortcomings and strengthen the nutrition and health functions of the aloe drinks.
At present, scientific researchers have developed a variety of compound health drinks by combining aloe juice with apple juice, kiwi juice, pumpkin juice, etc.
Aloe wine is made from high-quality strong-flavor liquor as the base, adding pure natural aloe whole leaf juice, and carefully blending, processing and aging. The wine is pleasant, clear and bright, with a pleasant aloe and wine fragrance. At the same time it retains the unique nutritional and health benefits of aloe vera extract. Using white wine as a carrier to bring the effective ingredients of aloe vera extract into the human body can better exert the magical functions of aloe in medical treatment, health care and beauty. Because white wine has solubility, dilution, protection and promotion for the active ingredients of aloe.
In addition to the blending of aloe juice with white wine, the enzymatic hydrolysate of aloe vera extract is blended with beer sake prepared by fermentation in a certain ratio to produce a new type of health-care draft beer with rich nutrition and unique flavor. The aloe beer is clear and transparent, and the foam is white and delicate. It has a strong hop and aloe fragrance. In addition, aloe vera juice is mixed with apples, grapes, mulberries and fermented to produce a variety of nutrient-rich, excellent color and flavor compound fruit wines.
After the aloe leaf meat is used to make a pulp, it is added to the dough and baked into bread, which makes the bread elastic and palatability. The aloe vera is freeze-dried and crushed to make superfine aloe powder, and then mixed with flour and yeast for proofing and baking, which can make a nutritious and healthy bread with unique flavor and multiple functions.
In addition, it can also be made into aloe sandwiches or made into jam and spread on bread, which also has the same nutritional and health benefits. Adding an appropriate amount of aloe vera juice in the manufacturing process of noodles not only increases the nutritional value of the noodles, but also uses the colloidal properties of aloe vera to reduce the breakage rate of the noodles and increase the toughness of the noodles. Because aloe gel has strong water absorption and water retention, aloe vera noodles have a slightly higher water absorption rate than those without aloe vera, which improves the yield of noodles.
Using aloe pulp or aloe concentrate, modified starch, gelatin, pectin and other hydrophilic colloids, supplemented with other sweeteners, can be made into various aloe hard candy, jelly and other leisure and health foods. The mouth is refreshing after consumption.
Aloe chewing gum can be made by combining the original aloe vera solution with gum base, xylitol and spices. Aloe chewing gum has the functions of sterilization, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hemostasis, treatment of periodontitis and regulating gastrointestinal function.
In addition to being used in processed foods, aloe vera has also developed rapidly in the catering industry in recent years.
Such as aloe vera mixed with tomato chunks in cold dishes, broccoli aloe salad, salted peanut aloe, ginkgo aloe, etc.; In the hot dishes, the perch sliced aloe, mushroom vegetarian aloe, pork liver aloe clip, aloe juice and parsley etc.
In addition, salty ones can be used as pickles, and desserts can be used as jams. Because aloe has a light taste, and has the functions of relieving heat, clearing away heat, detoxification, it has been accepted by consumers and has become a fashion.
Prospects of Aloe Vera Extract
Aloe vera has magical functions in medicine, beauty, health care, and food industry. As a medicinal and economic crop, it has served mankind for thousands of years. People increasingly yearn for health and longevity, hoping to return to nature, and use pure natural medicines, foods, and cosmetics. The various functions of aloe vera extract can meet people’s needs. Various health products developed from the main raw materials are promising.