Scientific Name: Aloe barbadensis

     Common name: aloe vera

             Main active ingredient: aloe-emodin, aloins, barbaloin, isobarbaloin

          Extract production: liquid and dry

       Definition of terms commonly used in the Aloe industry

Term

Definition

Leaf

The part of the Aloe vera plant used in commerce, where processing is begun without stripping off the rind.

Whole leaf

Historically used to describe products derived from the entire leaf that were filtered/purified. However, use of this terminology without adequate additional descriptors is not recommended. This terminology is now seen on products or in reference to raw material where the entire leaf is used as a starting ingredient to create Aloe vera juice.

Decolorized whole leaf

A process, usually involving filtration with activated charcoal, that clarifies the liquid aloe mass.

Inner leaf

Plant part used to describe the clear, central parenchymatous tissues of the aloe leaf.

Aloe latex

Brown, yellow-brown, or occasionally red exudate found between the rind and inner leaf. Also called “sap,” it contains several constituents, but most notably anthraquinones.

Anthraquinone

An organic compound primarily found in the aloe latex, whose structure serves as the basic building block for several naturally occurring plant pigments. The substance is commonly used for laxative purposes.

Gel

Liquid product typically derived from the inner leaf.

Juice

Liquid product derived from Aloe vera leaf [the Working Group noted that the term “juice” is used arbitrarily and may either apply to products from the latex or from the gel].

 

        Summary of chemical constituents of Aloe vera products

Class

Compounds

Anthraquinones/anthrones

Aloe-emodin, aloetic acid, anthranol, aloin A and B (or collectively known as barbaloin), isobarbaloin, emodin, ester of cinnamic acid

Carbohydrates

Pure mannan, acetylated mannan, acetylated glucomannan, glucogalactomannan, galactan, galactogalacturan, arabinogalactan, galactoglucoarabinomannan, pectic substance, xylan, cellulose

Chromones

-8C-Glucosyl-(2′-O-cinnamoyl)-7-O-methylaloediol A, 8-C-glucosyl-(S)-aloesol, 8-C-glucosyl-7-O-methyl-(S)-aloesol, 8-C-glucosyl-7-O-methylaloediol, 8-C-glucosyl-noreugenin, isoaloeresin D, isorabaichromone, neoaloesin A

Enzymes

Alkaline phosphatase, amylase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cyclooxidase, cyclooxygenase, lipase, oxidase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, superoxide dismutase

Minerals

Calcium, chlorine, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, zinc

Lipids and miscellaneous organic compounds

Arachidonic acid, γ-linolenic acid, steroids (campestrol, cholesterol, β-sitosterol), triglycerides, triterpenoid, gibberillin, lignins, potassium sorbate, salicylic acid, uric acid

Amino acids

Alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, hydroxyproline, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, threonine, tyrosine, valine

Proteins

Lectins, lectin-like substance

Saccharides

Mannose, glucose, L-rhamnose, aldopentose

Vitamins

B1, B2, B6, C, β-carotene, choline, folic acid, α-tocopherol