Extracts of Aloe Vera / Aloe barbadensis, particularly the gel, are well accepted on a worldwide basis as a premier ingredient in over-the-counter dermal therapeutics and high-end cosmetics.
This is because aloe’s efficient acceleration of the rate of recovery of skin cells from environmental injury is well documented (see accompanying reviews in this volume by Heggers et al. and Strickland et al.). A. barbadensis and A. arborescens Miller extracts are also ingested orally for a variety of reasons.
This consumption results in an aggregate world demand in excess of 100,000,000 liters per annum of crude homogenate juice and filleted gel, as estimated by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC). In order to visualize this quantity, one should imagine 5,000 tanker trucks, each of a capacity of 20,000 liters, constituting a queue sufficient to stretch across a major city.
Yet despite this volume of production much of the world’s supply of aloe juice is still processed without a fundamental understanding of what aloe is, without comprehending the beneficial and deleterious effect of processing and using quality control methods that range from improper to outright fraudulent.