It is a vegetable dye made from the seed coat of tropical Annatto tree, also known as bixa orellana. This natural colouring is commonly used in cereals, snack foods, dairy foods such as yoghurts, butter, ice creams, cheeses and a wide range of other foods.
It blends easily with water, emulsions and several oils, and also with turmeric or paprika oleoresin.
The seeds of the annatto fruits 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 constitutes tannins, ethereal oils, saponins, mustard oil like substances and sesquiterpenes
It is widely used as an effective natural coloring in cosmetics and textile manufacturing. Also used as spice, it gives a bright and exotic appearance to many types of dishes. The fat�]soluble component carotenoid bixin makes it an ideal content for coloring cheese, butter, dairy produce and baked products.