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How To Extract Aloe Vera Gel From the Leaves?

How To Extract Aloe Vera Gel From the Leaves?

Aloe vera gel is an excellent moisturizer for skin and hair. It compensates for water loss from the epidermis, while providing essential vitamins and trace elements needed for repair. We will explain to you the process of how to extract aloe vera gel from the plant.

Aloe Vera, a Plant With Multiple Benefits.

Aloe vera is a fatty plant used for thousands of years by various civilizations for its many therapeutic properties. It belongs to the lily family, like lilies, onions and garlic. It grows in hot, dry climates and stores water in its leaves, enabling it to survive in these conditions; its nickname, "desert lily", comes from this characteristic.

The gel, colorless and viscous in texture, is the substance used in cosmetics. It contains no less than a hundred active substances, nutrients and other components. Among these, the gel's healing and anti-inflammatory properties are partly attributed to the polysaccharides it contains, and more specifically to two compounds, acemannan and mannose-6-phosphate. Thanks to this rich chemical composition, aloe vera possesses a wide range of biological activities, making it a benchmark in natural cosmetics.

Extracting Aloe Vera Gel.

How to extract aloe vera? This process involves several steps:

  1. The leaves are cut by hand at the base. They must be neither too young, as their gel content is then too low, nor too mature, as the quantity and quality of the gel may diminish.

  2. The harvested leaves are poured into a huge vat of clear water, where they are pre-washed before being conveyed on a conveyor belt to an automatic washing machine, which cleans them thoroughly with powerful jets of water.

  3. The two ends of the leaves are manually sliced before being placed in a specially designed extractor, which extracts the fresh pulp by means of a simple, very light mechanical pressure.

  4. This pulp is collected directly at the extractor outlet, while the pulped leaves are evacuated outside to be composted for spreading on fields as fertilizer.

  5. The fresh pulp collected in the extractor is then immediately stabilized by homogenizing it with certain substances that neutralize the action of the enzymes (responsible for the rapid oxidation of the gel on contact with air) without destroying them. In this way, the enzymes are still present in the gel, which retains all its benefits. Harvested and stabilized in this way, aloe vera gel keeps perfectly and can then be incorporated into cosmetic products.


Note: It is important to distinguish between the extraction of the juice contained in the pericyclic cells of the leaves and extracting aloe vera gel at the heart of the leaves. The products obtained have different uses: the juice is used for pharmaceutical applications, while the gel is used for its cosmetic properties.

Sources

  • BILL C. Aloe vera, le nouveau millénaire (2005).

  • HAMMAN J. H. Composition and applications of aloe vera leaf gel. Molecules (2008).

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