Annatto is a yellow coloring, extracted from the fruits of tropical shrub Bixa orellana. This natural color is used in confectionery, butter, smoked fish and cheese. Also used as a spice, it provides a bright and exotic appearance to various types of dishes.
This extract easily blends with water, emulsions and several oils. It also blends well with turmeric or paprika oleoresin
The seeds of annatto contain 40-45% cellulose, 3.5-5.5%sucrose, 0.3-0.9% essential oil, 3% fixed oil, 4.5-5.5% pigments, 13-16% protein and other constituents. It also contains tannins, ethereal oils, saponins, mustard oil like substances and sesquiterpenes
The largest use of annatto is for food coloring. It found usage in preserved meats, cheeses, sweets and variety of other foods. The red annatto dye extracted from the fruit pulp is extensively used in assortment of industries such as cosmetics, textiles and others. Mostly used as a dye, it also finds application in medical preparations such as ointments and plasters. Further, in India the pulp of the fruit is used as an insect repellent.