Q: I was interested in how long your Aloe gel lasts for, both opened kept in a pantry, and unopened kept in a dark basement?
A: Stockton Aloe 1 – 100% Pure Raw Aloe Vera Gel does NOT have a long shelf life. Raw, of course, means that no pasteurization or heat processes of any kind were used in the making of our product. Furthermore, there is nothing in our Aloe Vera to repel nor kill bugs, bacteria, yeast, or fungus except the cold. Our brand really is 100% pure nothing added. If you keep your Stockton Aloe 1 gel for any length of time, you should keep it frozen. Once it is thawed, we recommend you keep it refrigerated and consume it within a week. If you are not going to use it up within 7 days, you can pour it into smaller containers and re-freeze the gel or make aloe vera ice cubes.
While we are on the topic of raw… our brand does have a warning label on the bottles. Since 1999, juice manufacturers are required by the FDA to place the following warning statement on raw juice or cider product containers:
WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and, therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
The FDA does NOT require this statement when the juices are fresh squeezed and sold by the glass at a farmers market, roadside juice stand, or similar venue. But if the fresh juice is bottled and placed for sale, the label is required.
WE DO NOT DO THIS TO OUR ALOE
Most commercially available aloe drinks have been pasteurized which kills any naturally occurring friendly bacteria as well as potentially harmful pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, most have also had chemical preservatives added such as Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, or other common preservatives to prevent bacteria from growing in them. When these or similar processes have been performed, the food ceases to be a “live food”; yet, in the case of food products that have been contaminated by harmful bacteria, killing everything ensures safety. There is a trade off, however. That is, most vegetation is healthier in its raw natural state, providing that no harmful contamination has occurred. Furthermore, there is debate over the extent of damage to our natural gut flora from chemicals, including preservatives, in foods.
Most aloe vera products, prior to being preserved, have also been treated with activated carbon and diatomaceous earth. These processing agents are mostly filtered out, however, prior to bottling. There purpose is to remove the outer-leaf “anthraquinones” such as aloin. Aloin can be a potent laxative and ought not be consumed in large quantities. Many beneficial nutrients may also be removed in this decolorization processes.
At Stockton Aloe 1, we feel that the decolorization process is necessary for aloe juices that have not been properly cut and filleted. However, we have found that our clean hand filet process prevents most outer-leaf anti-nutrients from ever getting into our aloe vera gel. Of course, since it is not decolorized, sometimes we have pink aloe vera!
Stockton Aloe 1 aloe vera gel on average contains less than 5 ppm aloin which exceeds the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) standards. We accomplish this WITHOUT decolorization processing. We are unaware of any other commercially available aloe vera products that can make this claim and we are confident that no others exist.