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EC / List no.: 215-735-4
CAS no.: 1393-63-1

Annatto (/əˈnætoʊ/ or /əˈnɑːtoʊ/) is an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana), native to tropical regions (e.g., from Mexico to Brazil).
Annatto is often used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods, but sometimes also for its flavor and aroma. 
Its scent is described as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg" and flavor as "slightly nutty, sweet and peppery".

The color of annatto comes from various carotenoid pigments, mainly bixin and norbixin, found in the reddish waxy coating of the seeds. 
The condiment is typically prepared by grinding the seeds to a powder or paste. 
Similar effects can be obtained by extracting some of the color and flavor principles from the seeds with hot water, oil, or lard, which are then added to the food.

Annatto and its extracts are now widely used in an artisanal or industrial scale as a coloring agent in many processed food products, such as cheeses, dairy spreads, butter and margarine, custards, cakes and other baked goods, potatoes, snack foods, breakfast cereals, smoked fish, sausages, and more. 
In these uses, annatto is a natural alternative to synthetic food coloring compounds, but it has been linked to rare cases of food-related allergies.
Annatto is of particular commercial value in the United States because the Food and Drug Administration considers colorants derived from it to be "exempt of certification".

The annatto tree B. orellana is believed to originate in tropical regions from Mexico to Brazil.
Annatto was probably not initially used as a food additive, but for other purposes such as ritual and decorative body painting (still an important tradition in many Brazilian native tribes, such as the Wari'), sunscreen, and insect repellent, and for medical purposes.
Annatto was used for Mexican manuscript painting in the 16th century.

Annatto has been traditionally used as both a coloring and flavoring agent in various cuisines from Latin America, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and other countries where it was taken home by Spanish and Portuguese colonizers in the 16th century.
Annatto has various local names according to region.
Its use has spread in historic times to other parts of the world, and it was incorporated in local culinary traditions of many countries outside the Americas.

Culinary uses
Traditional cuisine
Ground annatto seeds, often mixed with other seeds or spices, are used in the form of paste or powder for culinary use, especially in Latin American, Jamaican, Belizean, Chamorro, Vietnamese, and Filipino cuisines. 
In Mexican and Belizean cuisines, it is used to make the spice recado rojo. 
In Venezuela, annatto is used in the preparation of hallacas, huevos pericos, and other traditional dishes. 
In Puerto Rico it is often simmered in oil or ground with seasonings and herbs to make sazón or used to make pasteles, arroz con gandules, and several other dishes where it's one of the main ingredients. 
Annatto paste is an important ingredient of cochinita pibil, the slow-roasted pork dish popular in Mexico. 
Annatto is also a key ingredient in the drink tascalate from Chiapas, Mexico. 
In the Philippines, it is used for the sauce of pancit. 
In Guam, it is used to make a staple rice dish flavored with annatto, onion, garlic, butter, and other spices.

Industrial food coloring
Annatto is commonly used to impart a yellow or orange color to many industrialized and semi-industrialized foods, including cheese, ice cream, bakery products, desserts, fruit fillings, yogurt, butter, oils, margarines, processed cheese, and fat-based products. 
In the United States, annatto extract is listed as a color additive "exempt from certification" and is informally considered to be a natural coloring. Foods colored with annatto may declare the coloring in the statement of ingredients as "colored with annatto" or "annatto color."
In the European Union, it is identified by the E number E160b.

In cheese, the yellow and orange hues naturally vary throughout the year as the cow's feed changed: in the summer, with fresh grass and its natural carotene content, the milk produced would have a natural orange tint, as would the cheese made from it, while at other times of the year, the tint would be greatly reduced. 
As the pigment is carried in the cream, skimming the milk, which some farmers did to make butter or to sell it separately, the lesser-quality cheese from such milk would be white.
To fool the consumer, the cheesemakers introduced colorants to imitate the more intense colors of the finer summer cheese. 
Initially these colors came from saffron, marigold, and carrot juice, but later annatto began being used.

In the 17th century, the Dutch, who had established colonies in Guyana, traded in food, particularly an orange-red natural colorant, annatto, with the indigenous communities. 
Zeeland traders under the authority of the West India Company bought annatto from the inhabitants of the coastal regions of Guyana and Suriname and sold it in the Netherlands as verw ('paint'). 
One contemporaneous description comes from Adriaen van Berkel, in a book published in 1695, though he does not mention whether it was used in cheese.
The earliest known documentation of annatto’s use in cheese is in a 1743 Dutch volume Huishoudelyk Woordboek (Household Word Book), according to American scientist Paul Kindstedt of the University of Vermont. 
Other historical documents from the period confirm that using annatto (then called "orleaan" or "orleans") to color cheese was being done by the mid-18th century.

England is another country that has used annatto to color their cheeses; colorants had been added to Gloucester cheese as early as the 16th century to allow inferior cheese to masquerade as the best Double Gloucester, with annatto later being used for that purpose. 
This usage was subsequently adopted in other parts of the UK, for cheeses such as Cheshire and Red Leicester, as well as colored Cheddar made in Scotland.
Many cheddars are produced in both white and red (orange) varieties, the only difference between the two being the presence of annatto as a coloring.
That practice has extended to many modern processed cheese products, such as American cheese and Velveeta. 
Cheeses from other countries also use annatto, including Mimolette from France and Leyden from the Netherlands.

Cheeses that use annatto in at least some preparations include:

Cheddar (UK)
Cheshire (UK)
Colby (U.S.)
Gloucester (UK)
Leyden (Netherlands)
Livarot (France)
Mimolette (France)
Mont des Cats (France)
Muenster (U.S.)
Red Leicester (UK)
Saint Paulin (France)
Shropshire Blue (UK)
Chemical composition

The yellow to orange color is produced by the chemical compounds bixin and norbixin, which are classified as carotenoids. 
The fat-soluble color in the crude extract is called bixin, which can then be saponified into water-soluble norbixin. 
This dual solubility property of annatto is rare for carotenoids.
The seeds contain 4.5–5.5% pigment, which consists of 70–80% bixin.
Unlike beta-carotene, another well-known carotenoid, annatto-based pigments are not vitamin A precursors.
The more norbixin in an annatto color, the more yellow it is; a higher level of bixin gives it a more orange shade.

Chemical Properties    
The extract prepared from annatto seed, Bixa orellana (L.), using a food grade extraction solvent

Physical properties    
Annatto extracts occur as dark red solutions, emulsions or suspensions in water or oil or as dark red powders.

Food coloring in dairy products, especially butter and cheese, flour confectionary, fish, meat products, soft drinks, snack foods and dry mixes. 
In wood stains, polish, and varnishes. 
Spice or condiment. 
Insect repellent.
Food coloring in dairy products, especially butter and cheese, flour confectionary, fish, meat products, soft drinks, snack foods and dry mixes; in wood stains, polish and varnishes; spice or condiment; insect repellent.
Can be used in cosmetics
Coloring margarine, sausage casings, etc.; food-product marking inks. 

annatto extract (Bixaorellana) is used in creams and sun products as a colorant and a highlighter. 
The orange color it provides is obtained from the plant’s dried fruit, specifically the pulp.

Annatto is a color source of yellowish to reddish-orange color obtained from the seed coating of the tree bixa orellanna. 
the oil- soluble annatto consists mainly of bixin, a carotenoid soluble in fats and oils with the color which is produced in the fat portion of the food. 
Annatto has a yellow hue, very good oxidation stability, fair light stability, and good heat stability, but Annatto is unstable above 125°c. 
the water-soluble annatto is norbixin (the product resulting when bixin is saponified and the methylethyl group is split off) which is dis- solved as a potassium salt in lye. 
Annatto is readily soluble in aqueous alkalis with the coloring occurring in the protein and starch fraction of the food. 
Annatto has a yellow to orange hue and precipitates in most acid foods. 
the usage level is 0.5–10 ppm in the finished food. 
Annatto is used in sausage casings, oleomargarine, shortening, and cheese.

Annatto is a type of food coloring made from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana).

Though it may not be well known, an estimated 70% of natural food colors are derived from it.

In addition to its culinary uses, annatto has long been used in many parts of South and Central America for art, as a cosmetic, and to treat various medical conditions.

Annatto is a type of food coloring agent and condiment that is made from the seeds of the achiote tree. Its vibrant color comes from compounds called carotenoids.

Annatto uses
Annatto has been used for centuries for various purposes.

Traditionally, it was used for body painting, as sunscreen, as an insect repellant, and for treating disorders, such as heartburn, diarrhea, ulcers, and skin issues.

Today, it’s mainly used as a natural food coloring and for its flavor profile.

For example, this natural food additive is present in various industrial foods, such as cheeses, butter, margarine, custards, cakes, and baked products.

In many areas of the world, annatto seeds are ground up into a paste or powder and combined with other spices or seeds in various dishes. 
As such, it’s an important ingredient in cochinita pibil, a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish.

Compared with artificial food colorings, annatto offers antioxidants and has other benefits.

Plus, its seeds can be used to make essential oils that are used in aromatherapy and may have antimicrobial effects.

Annatto seems so mysterious, yet it's widely used. 
This ingredient comes from the tropical achiote tree, and its bright yellowy-orange hue lends itself to use as a food dye. 
Annatto also possesses medicinal purposes and is an ingredient in many Latin American foods, along with Caribbean and Filipino cuisines. 
It's often used in soups, stews, sauces, and marinades where it lends a sweet, peppery taste.

What Is Annatto?
Annatto is the seed or extract of the achiote tree, which is indigenous to Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. 
The seeds and pulp have been used for hundreds of years for a variety of purposes and are used heavily in Latin America as a dye, medicine, and an ingredient in many foods. 
Annatto has a naturally intense hue that can range in color from yellow to dark orange when used as a dye, although the seeds are a deep, bright orange-red.

The fruit of the achiote tree is shaped like a heart and covered with thick, spiky hairs. 
As the fruit matures, the pod can be opened easily by hand to reveal its red seeds. 
The seeds can be ground into a powder, turned into a paste, or infused into oil. 
Commercially, the seeds and flesh are processed to extract the potent edible dye.

Annatto is believed that annatto made the transition from use as a dye to use in the kitchen when Europeans who arrived in the Americas couldn't find saffron to tint their food and instead used annatto.

Annatto Uses
Annatto is responsible for the yellow color of butter, margarine, and cheese, all of which would be a pale creamy color without the addition of this natural dye. Cheddar cheese acquired its classic orange color from annatto during the 1800s when it was thought that high-quality cheeses gained their color from the presence of beta-carotene from higher quality green grass fed to cattle. Ironically, many people now assume the bright yellow color comes from unnatural ingredients.

Annatto is used as a colorant in many other commercial products such as processed meats, smoked fish, beverages, and a variety of packaged food. Many cosmetics utilize annatto for its strong hue, giving it the nickname "the lipstick tree."

How to Cook With Annatto
Many dishes in Central and South America, such as arroz con pollo, use annatto for the distinct yellow color. 
Annatto is also used to color soups, stews, and spice rubs. 
It's an ingredient in Goya's Sazón seasoning (it will say con culantro y achiote), giving rice its color in Caribbean-style black beans and yellow rice, and is added to many tandoori cooking recipes, too.

Annatto seeds are usually steeped in oil or ground to a powder prior to adding to recipes, rather than adding the seeds whole. 
Annatto is a key flavor component in many Latin American dishes. 
The paste is easy to use; just take a small bit of it and mix it with water. 
The powder can be sprinkled right onto whatever you are cooking as you would with any other dried ground spice or herb. 
If you have access to dried seeds, those can be soaked in hot water until they give off their color, or you can fry them in a neutral oil such as canola and strain it off prior to use in dishes.

Also known as ‘Achiote seeds’, a mild spice used in Latin American, Carribean & Filipino cuisines.  
Annatto imparts a deep red colour to food, making it a wonderful natural food colouring. 
Annatto has been used for centuries to colour cheeses such as Red Leicester. 
The taste is a combined mix of sweet, tart and peppery flavours and is wonderful if you want your dish to have a bright and exotic appearance. 
Add seeds directly to the cooking liquid or infuse 1 tsp in 1/2 cup of hot water until the desired colour is obtained, discard seeds then pour into stocks, rice, bolognese sauces, tandoori dishes, fish & more.  
Another method is to fry approx 2 tbsp of seeds in 1 cup oil until the oil becomes a dark orange/red colour then strain the oil mixture into your dish as required.  
Because of the strong dye properties don’t forget your apron!

Annatto is a plant. The seed, leaf, and root are used to make medicine.

Annatto is used for enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), diabetes, stomach problems, skin problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, annatto is used as a coloring agent.

Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). 
Early research shows that taking annatto daily for 12 months does not improve symptoms of BPH.
Fluid retention.
Vaginal infections.
As an insect repellent.
Other conditions.

Annatto is a little-known spice, far less commonly used than many of the spices in our range. 
You may have seen annatto feature as an ingredient in some your favourite cheeses, pies, pastries or other goods, where its strong red-orange pigmentation is used to add vibrancy to these products. 
But you can use your natural annatto seeds to flavour, colour and enliven all kinds of dishes. Read on to find out more…

How to use annatto seeds
This tiny, soft seed is taken from a tropical plant called ‘achiote’ or informally, “the lipstick tree”, which grows throughout Central and South America and the Carribean. 
Annatto will come as little surprise then, that you can grind them into tasty Carribean, Mexican and Filipino recipes of every description.

A cool historical fact is that the Mayans used it to paint their bodies. 
Another famous South American empire, the Aztecs, used annatto seeds to intensify the colours of their cocoa-based drinks. 
While we keenly endorse both of these ancient uses, you can get far more out of annatto seeds. 
So first things first, you might want to get an idea of their flavour and aroma…

What does annatto taste like?
Descriptions of this seed’s flavour vary quite widely. 
Some of the most popular terms used to describe its taste and aroma are: musky, earthy, floral and peppery. 
With all that going on, there’s a very slight sweetness, and some say a tiny tang, running through annatto seeds too. 
But instead of us throwing countless words at your brain – the simplest way to get a feel for this beautiful spice is to try it!

Further usage tips
For best results, always grind up your annatto seeds to release maximum flavour. 
This will also help you to gauge the amount you are using. 
Annatto is certainly something that should be used with care and delicacy – a little goes a long way, and it’s all too easy to use too much. 
Please also remember to use grinding equipment that you don’t mind becoming slightly stained, due to their strong red pigmentation. 
To minimise this effect, wash your utensils straight away.

Industrial Application and Potential Industrial Application
Annatto (E-160B) is a natural yellow–orange dye obtained from the plant Bixa orellana, which causes less toxicity and generally exhibits better biodegradability and compatibility with the environment, when compared with synthetic colorants (Shahid-ul-Islam et al., 2014). 
Annatto colorants are used in several ways, extensively in food industry, particularly in dairy and meat products. 
Annatto preparations are also used in makeup products and in textile industries. 
Nowadays, in the food industry, annatto pigments are used mainly in cheese, dairy products, cereal-derived products, sweets, beverages, sauces, and sausages, representing almost the totality of annatto market. 
The lipid soluble pigments are used in products like margarines, vegetable creams, cheese, and icecream, among others.

The mixture of annatto colorants with other natural colorants increases their applications in foods, for the possibility of producting various color shades. 
Red coloration can be obtained when annatto is mixed with carmine, beet, or anthocyanins. 
The dark coloration is obtained when annatto and chlorophyll are mixed.
Mixtures such as annatto/carmine, annatto/curcumin and annatto/caramel are common in the food industry. Annatto pigments also can be used in medicines (liquids and solids).

In addition to the vast use as a colorant in the food industry, annatto pigment, in its various forms, can be used as an antioxidant, acting in the prevention of lipid peroxidation in food, autoxidation  and acting against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. 
They also have antimicrobial activity. 
In animal feed it has been used in poultry feed composition and to improve the coloration of egg yolk.

Some patents have been registered regarding the development of new technologies for obtaining annatto seed products and processing. 
For example, degreased and solvent-free seeds rich in dye content, obtaining annatto oil fractions rich in δ-tocotrienol, processes using supercritical CO2 technology for dye extraction, bioactive seed compounds and compounds from other annatto plant parts. 
There is also the use of technologies such as microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation, aimed at protecting dyes against hazards such as the presence of light and oxygen, which can increase the range of products in which these may be added. 
Furthermore, one can produce stable dyes that are dispersible in water and which when incorporated, do not alter the texture and taste of the product. 
Annatto can also recover residues from pigment extractions. 
Tan and Foley described a waste recovery method in which, starting with water or organic solvent from the extraction of pigment from annatto seeds, tocotrienol and geranylgeraniol components can be obtained. 
These compounds have antioxidant activity, inhibition action against some types of cancer, hypocholesterolemic action, among others. 
According to Albuquerque and Meireles, in the last few decades 410 patents on the subject were registered, confirming the increased interest in obtaining annatto compounds that can be used not only in the food industry, but also in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry and in the medical field.

Where does annatto come from?
Produced in South America, achiote seeds have been used by tribes for centuries. 
Annatto has many health benefits, which include reducing acid, killing bacteria, fighting free radicals, and lowering blood pressure. 
Traditionally, the crushed seeds of the achiote shrub are soaked in water. 
Ancient Mayans used it to color food. 
The Piura tribe makes a tea with it that is used topically to treat skin conditions.

Annatto is an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the Bixa orellana tree native to tropical regions such as Kenya, Ivory Coast, Mexico to Brazil. 
Annatto is often used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods, but sometimes also for its flavor and aroma. 
Its scent is described as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg" and flavor as "slightly nutty, sweet and peppery". 
The color of annatto comes from various carotenoid pigments, mainly bixin and norbixin, found in the reddish waxy coating of the seeds. 
The condiment is typically prepared by grinding the seeds to a powder or paste. 
Similar effects can be obtained by extracting some of the color and flavor principles from the seeds with hot water, oil, or lard, which are then added to the food. 
Annatto and its extracts are now widely used in an artisanal or industrial scale as a coloring agent in many processed food products, such as cheeses, dairy spreads, butter and margarine, custards, cakes and other baked goods, potatoes, snack foods, breakfast cereals, smoked fish, sausages, and more. 
In these uses, annatto is a natural alternative to synthetic food coloring compounds, but it has been linked to rare cases of food-related allergies. Annatto is of particular commercial value in the United States because the Food and Drug Administration considers colorants derived from it to be "exempt of certification".

Methods of Manufacturing
The colorant is prepared by leaching the annatto seeds with an extractant prepared from one or more approved, food-grade materials taken from a list that includes various solvents, edible vegetable oils and fats, and alkaline aqueous and alcoholic solutions. 
Depending on the use intended, the alkaline extracts are often treated with food-grade acids to precipitate the annatto pigments, which in turn may or may not be further purified by recrystallization from an approved solvent.

A rich natural red colour, annatto seeds have a slightly peppery and earthy taste - the extract of which is often used in food manufacture. 
In Latin America, they are widely used for both colour and flavour.

Infuse into rice or stews. 
Use to colour and flavour spice pastes

Annatto seeds are pyramid-shaped, measuring approximately 5 mm in length, and are encased in black-brown, hairy seed pods that grow in tight clusters. 
Each pod holds 8 to 10 seeds, and the seed’s brick red, waxy shell surrounds a dark brown paste-like center with an oily sheen. 
When handled, the seeds excrete a red-orange oily residue that easily dyes hands and surfaces. 
Annatto seeds are extremely hard, making it difficult to cut and grind the seeds. 
The seeds bear a musty aroma with a peppermint finish, developing a nose-tingling sensation when inhaled deeply. 
Annatto seeds have a mild, smokey, and peppery citrus flavor with subtle complexities of peppermint, chocolate, and nutmeg that linger on the palate.

Annatto seeds are most commonly used as a food coloring for butter, margarine, and cheeses like cheddar, edam, and muenster. 
Annatto seeds are also the main component in Achiote paste, a mixture of the seeds with aromatics, including cumin and coriander, and citrus juice or vinegar. 
Achiote pastes are popular in Latin and Caribbean cuisine and are incorporated into marinades and sauces for added flavoring. 
Annatto seeds can also be steeped in hot oil or lard to create manteca de Achiote, an infused, bright orange oil that contains subtle flavors of the seed. 
In Asia, the seeds are common in many Filipino dishes, and the Vietnamese incorporate the seeds into bun bo hue, a soup infused with Annatto seeds to impart an umami flavor. 
Annatto seeds pair well with rice, poultry, and fish and complement the flavors of onions and bay leaves, making them ideal for slow-braised meats, soups, and stews. 
Whole Annatto seeds can be stored in an air-tight container in a dry, dark place for up to three years. 
Annatto seed paste can be kept up to three months when stored in the refrigerator.

Annatto—also known as achiote, atsuete, bija, or urucum—is a spice that plays two roles: 
Annatto lends a vibrant red-orange hue to foods and also provides a sweet and mildly peppery flavor. 
It’s incredibly common in Central and South American, Caribbean, and Filipino cuisine, while much lesser known elsewhere.

What is Annatto?
Annatto is a spice and food coloring agent made from the seeds of the achiote tree, which is a tree that is native to South American, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

The seeds are found inside the fruit of the achiote tree and can be ground into a powder, infused into oil, or turned into a paste. 
Annatto has been used in these parts of the world for centuries as a food coloring agent in traditional dishes because of the naturally vivid red-orange color it lends.

Annatto is also used as a coloring agent in foods such as cheeses and packaged snacks from around the world. 
Mimolette, an orange-colored semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from France, gets its color from annatto, as does yellow cheddar. Some mustards, margarines, and snacks like Goldfish and Cheeze-Annatto crackers also contain annatto.

Annatto isn’t just for color, though. 
Annatto comes with its own special flavor, which is why it’s also used as a spice. Take a whiff of annatto and you’ll be greeted by a nutty, floral aroma. 
The flavor of annatto is best described as mildly sweet and spicy, with some earthy, musky notes.

What is Annatto?
Annatto is a natural orange-red food coloring derived from seeds of achiote tree (Bixa orellana), native to tropical areas. 
Annatto is used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods such as cheese, bakery or meat products, soup mixes and beverages.

More than 70% of natural food colors are derived from this ingredient.
The color strength is expressed as a percentage of its two main carotenoid molecules, bixin and norbixin.  
Annatto is available in the form of:


Bixa orellana is native to tropical regions such as Brazil, India, Kenya, Peru, and the Caribbean. Extracts from this plant were originally used as a medicine to treat heartburn or gastric distress, as a sunscreen or for body painting.

Commercial Production
Annatto extracts are obtained from the outer layer of Bixa orellana seed which contains about 5% annatto in the form of a resin.

The major coloring component of this ingredint is the cisbixin (C25H30O4). 
Annatto extract is a solution or suspension which can be prepared by pretreatment of the pericarp with hot water or steam. 
This is followed by either extraction with vegetable oil or mono- and di-glycerides, or solvent extraction.

Three main steps in commercial processing:

Extraction into oil
Extraction with solvents
Extraction into aqueous alkali
Composition and Nutrition
Annatto is a rich source of antioxidants such as vitamin E. 
The unique color of the seed is due to bixin and norbixin, non pro-vitamin A carotenoids.

Some food allergens have been linked to the presence of this extract. 
However, it is not considered one of the eight major food allergens.

Functional properties of annatto include:1,3

Food coloring suitable for water- and oil-based formulas
Flavor enhancer but may impart a slightly sweet and peppery notes
In baking, annatto is used as a food coloring to impart a yellow or orange tint. 
Annatto can also be used to enhance the color of fillings, frostings, gels, sugar cones, wafer biscuits, and create food colorings.4

If formulating with annatto, pay careful attention to potential deteriorative interactions with other components:

Instability in acidic conditions but is very stable in alkalis
Potential precipitation in the presence of calcium
Instability in intense or direct light

Annatto is known by many different names worldwide. You may know it as achiote, onoto, atsuete or urucum depending on where you’re from.

Derived from the seeds of the achiote tree, it has a vibrant color that makes it perfect for use as a coloring agent and condiment. 
Similar to paprika, saffron and turmeric, it can lend foods a bright color that ranges from yellow to deep orange.

The bold color comes from carotenoids, which are plant pigments that are found in the coating of the seed. 
Annatto is most often ground up into a powder or paste form for use. 
Its color can also be extracted from the seed and then added to foods as a dye.

Some also use annatto to boost the flavor of certain dishes. 
Annatto has a mild, peppery flavor when used in large amounts as well as a nutty and floral scent.

Annatto is native to the tropical regions of the Americas. 
Historically, it was used as a body paint, sunscreen and even a natural insect repellant.

Today, it is used around the globe in both home kitchens and industrial factories alike and is cultivated as far as Africa and Asia. 
Still, it remains especially prominent in Latin American, Caribbean and Filipino cuisines as a staple ingredient.

(2E,4E,6E,8E,10E,12E,14E,16Z,18E)-4,8,13,17-tetramethylicosa-2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18-nonaenedioic acid

CI 75120
C.I. Natural Orange 4
Annatto extract
Annatto extract acid proof
Natural Orange 4
(2E,4E,6E,8E,10E,12E,14E,16~{Z},18E)-4,8,13,17-tetramethylicosa-2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18-nonaenedioic acid
Natural orange 4
Annatto pigment
Annatto Extract Acid Proof
(2E,4E,6E,8E,10E,12E,14E,16Z,18E)-4,8,13,17-tetramethylicosa-2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18-nonaenedioic acid
Annatto extract
Annotta extract
Annatto (color)
Annatto coloring dye
FEMA No. 2103
FEMA No. 2104
CCRIS 3651
CI 7512
Annatto seed (Bixa orellana L.)
Annatto extract (Bixa orellana L.)
EINECS 215-735-4
HSDB 7976
annatto seed powder
bixa orellana seed powder
9-Cis-6,6'-diapo-psi,psi-carotenedioic acid
6,6'-Diapo-psi,psi-carotenedioic acid, 9-cis-

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