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Aloecorp hails GRAS for aloe vera as food/drink ingredient

By Sarah Hills , 27-Apr-2010
Last updated the 28-Apr-2010 at 16:05 GMT

Aloecorp claims that it has become the first aloe vera grower and supplier to affirm GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for use of aloe vera as a food and beverage ingredient in the US.

The company said that the self-affirmed GRAS status is for the use of its Qmatrix aloe vera product in foods and beverages, as well as supplements.

Aloe vera already has GRAS status as a flavoring for food and drink, according to Ken Jones, Aloecorp’s vice president and chief science officer.

But he told Nutraingredients-USA.com that Aloecorp’s GRAS status for aloe vera is as an ingredient for food and drink. The difference being that as a flavoring it has limited use.

Its GRAS dossier covers categories including soy milk, yogurt, fruit smoothies, milk-based desserts, teas, carbonated water and fruit drinks, among others.

Jones said: “This does open up a very large segment of the market that aloe vera has not been available in before.”

This would particularly apply to the health and wellness market as aloe vera has been linked with benefits including boosted immune function, gut health and modulating blood sugar levels.

Globally, the aloe vera market was primarily limited to supplements, according to Jones. Although there are a range of products with aloe vera in them such as yogurt and beverages - it is fairly well known in beverages, for example, in Korea.

He added: “GRAS status significantly expands applications of Qmatrix to include its use in foods and beverages.

“Achieving self-affirmed GRAS status for our Qmatrix Aloe vera ingredient enables manufacturers to use our products in a wide range of foods and beverages.

“This allows Aloecorp to offer Qmatrix and the many health benefits of aloe to the food industry in order to contribute to the overall health of consumers.”

He highlighted that aloe vera contains around 20 percent fiber, on average, with general health benefits similar to any fruit.

A company can self-affirm GRAS after conducting all necessary research and forming an independent panel to determine its safety. To self-affirm, the company needs to be confident that it could defend the safety of its ingredient based on this process.

Aloecorp said it carried out extensive scientific studies over the past two years to develop its GRAS dossier.

An independent panel of scientific experts has now reviewed its safety data and concluded that its Qmatrix ingredient is GRAS for use in food and beverage products developed in the US.

Jones said it could be a step towards seeking regulatory approval for use of aloe vera as an ingredient in food and beverages in other parts of the world.

Aloecorp claims to be a leading international grower and supplier of aloe vera, based in the US.

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