Navigation Links
Aloe vera coating may prolong freshness, safety of fruits and vegetables

Aloe vera gel is best 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 say they have developed a gel from the tropical plant that can be used as an edible coating to prolong the quality and safety of fresh produce. The gel, which does not appear to affect food taste or appearance, shows promise as a safe, natural and environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional synthetic preservatives that are currently applied to produce after harvesting, the researchers say.

Although a number of edible coatings have been developed to preserve food freshness, the new coating is believed to be the first to use Aloe vera, according to study leader Daniel Valero, Ph.D., of the University of Miguel Hern�ndez in Alicante, Spain. His study will appear in the Oct. 5 print issue of the American Chemical Society�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 vera gel and stored them for five weeks under low temperature while exposing a group of untreated table grapes to the same conditions. The colorless Aloe gel used in this study was developed through a special processing technique that maximized the amount of active compounds in the gel, Valero and associates say. The gel can also be applied as a spray, they add.

The untreated grapes appeared to deteriorate rapidly within about 7 days, whereas the gel-coated grapes were well-preserved for up to 35 days under the same experimental conditions, the researchers say. The gel-treated grapes were firmer, had less weight loss and less color change than the untreated grapes, measures which correspond to higher freshness, they say.

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

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

Although the health effects of Aloe gel on human consumption were not directly measured in this study, the coating is believed to be safe, the researchers say. They note that Aloe vera gel has been used as a functional ingredient in some foods and beverages for years. In addition to preserving table grapes, which are highly perishable, the gel can be applied to other fruits and vegetables, they say. Further testing of the gel on other types of produce is anticipated.

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

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


Source:American Chemical Society

Related biology news :

1. Innovative coating could give medical implants a longer life
2. Antibacterial coatings cut infection rates
3. Edible coatings will be the packaging of the future
4. Resveratrol prolongs lifespan and delays onset of aging-related traits in a short-lived vertebrate
5. New engineered drug may offer prolonged arthritis relief
6. Feds give researchers ok for safety test of adult stem cells in patients with heart disease
7. Flesh-eating bacteria escape bodys safety net
8. Magnetism and mimicry of nature hold hope for better medicine, environmental safety
9. How the US drug safety system should be changed
10. Fake pesticides threaten food safety
11. Primates take weather into account when searching for fruits
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Today, ... announced a partnership with 2XU, a global leader ... deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. ... other athletes to monitor key biometrics to improve ... strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. ... solutions, today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ... touch controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, ... by Huawei. --> ... like Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest ... market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations ... higher volume share for the region in the ... margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market earned ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential micronutrient that ... proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million award from ... conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and ... to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their ... votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... today that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or ... Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject to the ... on November 23, 2015, which will result in ... giving effect to the issuance of such shares, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: