Annatto, also known as bixin, is a yellow coloring extracted from the fruit of tropical shrub Bixa orellana. It contains carotenoid bixin, which is a fat?]soluble component and is used to color cheese, butter dairy produce and baked goods. The seeds are also used as spice for flavoring in various Caribbean and Latin American foods.
Bixa orellana, Roucou, Fam Bixaceae, Achiote, Anatta, Annato, Annotta, Aploppas, Arnotta, Arnotto, Orellana, Orlean and Orleana.
It is easily soluble with water, emulsions and several oils, and 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 constitutes tannins, ethereal oils, saponins, mustard oil like substances and sesquiterpenes.
It is extensively used for food coloring and finds application in preserved meats, cheese, 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. It is also used in medical preparations such as ointments and plasters. In India, the pulp of the annatto fruit is used as an insect repellent.