Aloe vera Gel: Structure, chemical composition, processing, biological activity and importance in pharmaceutical and food industry El gel de aloe vera: Estructura, composición química, procesamiento, actividad biológica e importancia en la industria farmacéutica y alimentaria
Aloe vera has wide application in both the pharmaceutical and food industries. Furthermore, the gel obtained from this plant is the component more often employed due to their antioxidant, therapeutic and functional properties. A suitable utilization of the plant is associated to the content of their bioactive components, microstructure and methods for preservation and stabilization of the products obtained from gel or others parts of the plant. In this work a compilation regarding to Aloe vera origin, plant structure, chemical and microstructural composition of the gel, traditional processing methods and the emerging technologies used on the conservation and stabilization of their chemical components are presented. Additionally, some studies remarking the biological activity and pharmacological effects of the gel are shown. This information can be a useful guide to know the structure and microstructure of the plant, as well as to select the gel processing and the conservation methods required to obtain the bioactive components of Aloe vera plant which are responsible of its biological activity.