Aloe-Bignay Juice: Immunity-Boosting Beverage by 2 Universities in Indonesia and Philippines
By Dr. Luh Suriati
In May 2020, the faculty-researchers from two universities in Indonesia and the Philippines thought of developing a healthy beverage using indigenous plants from both countries. After a year, that idea became a reality.
Researchers at the Faculty of Agriculture, Warmadewa University, Denpasar, have initially developed a functional beverage made from aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis M.) and bignay fruit (Antidesma bunius). This beverage, known as aloe-bignay, aids in boosting immunity especially during a pandemic.
The development of aloe-bignay beverage is part of joint research project between Warmadewa University (UNWAR) and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), Philippines. The researchers include Dr. Luh Suriati as project leader (UNWAR), Dr. I Gede Pasek Mangku (UNWAR), Luh Kade Datrini (UNWAR), Dr. Hanilyn A. Hidalgo (CBSUA), and Josephine Red (CBSUA).
The project consists of three components: the first year is the formulation of aloe-bignay beverage; the second year will be clinical trials and market potential; and the third year will be product refinement.
According to Dr. Suriati, aloe vera was chosen as a beverage ingredient because it is a medicinal plant that is very easy to grow in Indonesia and the Philippines. The part which is used to make the beverage is the aloe vera mucilage called gel. The components contained in aloe vera gel include polysaccharides which has more than 75 functional chemical compounds.
Bignay fruit is considered a local berry that is rich in nutritional value. Bignay fruit is known to have a pharmacological activity such as anti-dysentery, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and antidiabetic. Bignay fruit is usually processed into beverages such as syrup, tea, jelly, jam, wine, dye, and can even be consumed directly because of its sweet taste with a strong sour sensation. Bignay fruit in the Philippines is also known as a fruit that has antioxidant properties and is good for health. Several studies have reported that bignay fruit extract exhibits antibacterial properties. Dr. Suriati added that the best formula for health beverage products is aloe-bignay with a proportion of 1:1 or 50 percent aloe vera gel and 50% bignay fruit extract. Aloe-bignay beverage without additives or preservatives is still suitable for consumption until the 12th day.
(Dr. Luh Suriati is a food scientist in Warmadewa University, Bali, Indonesia. She is a prolific researcher with 39 research articles published and 58 citations).