December 12, 2007
IRVING, TexasIn response to a rapidly expanding market and growing consumer recognition, the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) is stepping up efforts to ensure industry members are sourcing the highest quality ingredients and delivering efficacious finished goods to consumers.
Barb Apps, director of business development, Aloecorp, noted sales are booming across channels, with sales of Aloe vera drinks up 9 percent in the last year in health food stores and aloe products in the multilevel marketing channel up 22 percent versus a year ago. She added the long traditional history of use among Hispanic, Asian and African American consumers dovetails with the growing population base of these shoppers.
IASC, a non-profit trade organization, was founded in the 1980s; it now has more than 350 members in 28 countries and provides a rigorous certification program for aloe products to ensure they meet high standards for quality and purity. Members products are tested and those that pass carry the IASC label, providing a quality message for consumers. Gene Hale, executive director, IASC, compared the testing process to a regulatory inspection, and noted finished products are certified annually and must contain a minimum of 15 percent certified Aloe vera. As an industry watchdog, it is the position of the IASC to have its members follow proper labeling and claim procedures, said Hale. If claims are made, they are to have substantiated documentation and studies that are acceptable to appropriate regulatory bodies.
Claims are increasingly showing up on product labels, as research is substantiating Aloe veras role in supporting cardiovascular, digestive, blood sugar, immune and dermal health. It also has antioxidant and detoxification properties. IASC supports ongoing Aloe vera research through overseeing an endowment fund for research projects. Most recently, IASC sponsored a human study at the University of California Davis, which found IASC-certified Aloe vera enhanced the bioavailability of vitamins C and B12 and the ORAC capacity of plasma.
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