Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aloe Vera Coating May Prolong Freshness, Safety Of Fruits And Vegetables

Date:
September 22, 2005
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Aloe vera gel is known for its therapeutic effect on burned or irritated skin, but in the future, you could be eating the gel as a healthful additive to your fruits and veggies. Researchers in Spain have developed an edible coating from the gel that they say can prolong the freshness and safety of produce without affecting taste and appearance. The coating, tested on grapes, shows promise an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional preservatives, they say.

Aloe vera gel is best known for its therapeutic effect onburned or irritated skin, but in the future you could be eating the gelas a healthful additive to your fruits and veggies. Researchers inSpain say they have developed a gel from the tropical plant that can beused as an edible coating to prolong the quality and safety of freshproduce. The gel, which does not appear to affect food taste orappearance, shows promise as a safe, natural andenvironmentally-friendly alternative to conventional syntheticpreservatives that are currently applied to produce after harvesting,the researchers say.

Although a number of edible coatings have been developed topreserve food freshness, the new coating is believed to be the first touse Aloe vera, according to study leader Daniel Valero,Ph.D., of the University of Miguel Hernαndez in Alicante, Spain. Hisstudy will appear in the Oct. 5 print issue of the American ChemicalSociety’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the Society’s peer-reviewed publication.

Valero and his associates dipped a group of common table grapes (Crimson Seedless) into Aloe veragel and stored them for five weeks under low temperature while exposinga group of untreated table grapes to the same conditions. The colorlessAloe gel used in this study was developed through a special processingtechnique that maximized the amount of active compounds in the gel,Valero and associates say. The gel can also be applied as a spray, theyadd.

The untreated grapes appeared to deteriorate rapidly withinabout 7 days, whereas the gel-coated grapes were well-preserved for upto 35 days under the same experimental conditions, the researchers say.The gel-treated grapes were firmer, had less weight loss and less colorchange than the untreated grapes, measures which correspond to higherfreshness, they say.

A sensory panel (10 people) evaluated the quality of both theuntreated and the gel-treated grapes by consuming some of the grapes.They found that the gel-treated grapes were generally superior intaste.

The researchers believe that the gel works through acombination of mechanisms. Composed mostly of polysaccharides, the gelappears to act as a natural barrier to moisture and oxygen, which canspeed food deterioration. But the gel also enhances food safety, thescientists say. Based on previous studies by others, Aloe veragel appears to contain various antibiotic and antifungal compounds thatcan potentially delay or inhibit microorganisms that are responsiblefor foodborne illness in humans as well as food spoilage.

Although the health effects of Aloe gel on humanconsumption were not directly measured in this study, the coating isbelieved to be safe, the researchers say. They note that Aloe veragel has been used as a functional ingredient in some foods andbeverages for years. In addition to preserving table grapes, which arehighly perishable, the gel can be applied to other fruits andvegetables, they say. Further testing of the gel on other types ofproduce is anticipated.

The gel also offers potential environmental benefits, theresearchers add. It could provide a greener alternative to sulfurdioxide and other synthetic food preservatives that are commonly usedon produce and increasingly the target of health concerns, they say.

Valero and his associates have filed a patent application inSpain for their gel. It could appear in the U.S. consumer market withina year, Valero estimates, noting that the gel is a natural product andis unlikely to face any major regulatory hurdles. Funding for thisstudy was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technologyand the European Commission via FEDER (European fund for regionaldevelopment).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Aloe Vera Coating May Prolong Freshness, Safety Of Fruits And Vegetables." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050922014835.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2005, September 22). Aloe Vera Coating May Prolong Freshness, Safety Of Fruits And Vegetables. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050922014835.htm
American Chemical Society. "Aloe Vera Coating May Prolong Freshness, Safety Of Fruits And Vegetables." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050922014835.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins