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Aloe 2.0: A Safer, Domestic Supply of High-grade Polyacetylated Mannans

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2021-06452
Agency Tracking Number: 2021-06452
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.199999999999999
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-008095
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-08-31
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-08-31
Small Business Information
2189 Harbor Bay Pkwy
Alameda, CA 94502-3019
United States
DUNS: 808398120
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Meuser
 (858) 365-0434
Business Contact
 Jonathan Meuser
Phone: (858) 365-0434
Research Institution

Aloe vera is a widely used plant found in hundreds of products because it produces polyacetylated
mannans a polysaccharide that promotes skin health. Most commercial aloe cultivation has been
offshored. U.S. manufacturers of aloe-containing products must import this crop but this material
often has issues with seasonal variation dilution contamination with pesticides and even
adulteration. Additionally aloe produces the carcinogen aloin that must be removed with costly
processing steps before use.
We aim to solve the current issues with aloe by the development of a commercial Aloe vera plant cell
culture. Plant cell culture is an established technology in which plants are grown as a fine suspension
of small clumps or single cells. Unlike Aloe vera plants an aloe cell culture can be domestically
produced in a safe and high-quality way without pesticides or adulterants. During Phase I Chi
Botanic established an aloe cell culture and characterized its aloin and polyacetylated mannan content.
Our objectives for this Phase II proposal is to (1) establish downstream bioseparations processes to
convert aloe cell cultures into high-quality aloe products by establishing and optimizing filtration
drying and milling procedures (2) increase polyacetylated mannan production in aloe cell cultures by
using elicitors and selection strategies and (3) develop aloe plant cell lines that do not produce the
carcinogen aloin by disrupting genes involved in anthraquinone biosynthesis.
The results of this work will be aloe plant cell lines and methods to produce high-value aloe
domestically. This aloe will be formulated into cosmetic products with a commercial partner.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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