Previously based at parent company Econet's US headquarters in Washington State, Aloecorp has made a move to Austin, Texas. In addition, it purchased 200 hectares of farmland in Mexico to add to its Mexican production operations. "Consumers continue to demand more natural options to meet their health care needs; our investment in scientific research continues to uncover new benefits and uses for aloe vera - as a result, interest and demand for scientifically validated, quality aloe vera ingredients continues to grow," said CEO and president of Aloecorp, Peter Hafermann. Aloecorp describes itself as a vertically-integrated supplier of bioactive aloe ingredients. It has spent $13m on investigating new health supporting applications for traditional aloe uses. Aloe vera has traditionally been used for its soothing properties and topical applications for burns and wounds. However, it has become increasingly recognized for its internal uses for boosting immune function, helping with digestion, modulating blood sugar levels and enhancing the bioavailability of vitamins C, E, B12 and the ORAC capacity of blood plasma. As the uses for the ingredient increase, so too will demand. "Expanding our farming operations allows us to meet that demand in an efficient manner," said Hafermann. The aloe whole leaf extract or aloe fillet gel can be used as functional ingredients in the form of a juice or powder. Aloecorp will begin planting 2.4 million off-shoots of the plants by the end of the year. The new land is in the state of Vera Cruz, near the company's two other farms and its processing center in Gonzalez. "The conditions in Southern Mexico are perfect for producing the high quality aloe vera leaves we require," said the director of Aloecorp's Texas and Mexico operations, Joseph Kim. "The climate is frost-free and the farm is ideally located adjacent to the Panuco River, providing fresh water and plenty of nutrient-rich soil." The move to the Texas facilities is in part motivated by the desire for the company's management to be located closer to where production, research and quality control operations occur. Aloecorp has developed a proprietary processing technology - Qmatrix - for its aloe vera that it says maintains an optimum level of freshness. The processes forming Qmatrix combine a patented method of polysaccharide preservation, a process for the preparation of immunomodulatory polysaccharides from aloe, proprietary rapid high-throughput processes, as well as a patented low temperature short time drying process the company says has been shown to retain heat-sensitive nutritional and functional Aloe components.