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Annatto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Annatto
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Annatto, sometimes called roucou or achiote, is a derivative of the achiote trees of tropical regions of the Americas, used to produce a yellow to orange food coloring and also as a flavoring. Its scent is described as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg" and flavor as "slightly nutty, sweet and peppery".[1] Annatto coloring is produced from the reddish pericarp or pulp which surrounds the seed of the achiote (Bixa orellana L.). It is used as coloring in many cheeses (e.g., Cheddar, Gloucester cheese, Red Leicester, Gouda and Brie), margarine, butter, rice, custard powder, ice-cream, and smoked fish. Although it is a natural food colorant, it has been linked to cases of food-related allergies.

Open fruit of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana), showing the seeds from which annatto is extracted; photographed in Campinas, Brazil (January 2009).

Annatto is commonly found in Latin America and Caribbean cuisines as both a coloring agent and for flavoring. Central and South American natives use the seeds to make a body paint and lipstick. For this reason, the achiote is sometimes called the "lipstick-tree". Achiote originated in South America and has spread in popularity to many parts of Asia. It is also grown in other tropical or subtropical regions of the world, including Central America, Africa and Asia. The heart-shaped fruit are brown or reddish brown at maturity, and are covered with short, stiff hairs. When fully mature, the fruit split open, exposing the numerous dark red seeds. While the fruit itself is not edible, the orange-red pulp that covers the seed is used to produce a yellow to orange commercial food coloring. Achiote dye is prepared by grinding seeds or simmering the seeds in water or oil.

Contents
1 History 2 Uses 2.1 Food coloring 3 Precautions 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

History
Annatto's Latin designation (Bixa orellana L.) was named after the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana during his exploration of the Amazon River.[2] Annatto has long been used by indigenous Caribbean and South American cultures. It is believed to
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Annatto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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originate in Brazil.[3] It was probably not initially used as a food additive, but for other reasons, such as body painting, repelling insects, and to ward off evil.[4][5] The ancient Aztecs called it achiotl, and it was used for Mexican manuscript painting in the sixteenth century.[6] In the Caribbean islands, both fruit and tree are popularly called achiote or bija. In India, annatto is known as "sindoor" and is considered auspicious for married women. Applying annatto to the forehead next to the hairline indicates that a woman is married.

Uses
Annatto has had many uses over the centuries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including as a food dye, body paint, treatment for heartburn and stomach distress, sunscreen and insect repellent.[7] In the Philippines, it is called atsuete[8] and is used as food coloring in traditional dishes.[9] Many Latin American cuisines traditionally use annatto in recipes of Spanish origin that originally call for saffron; for example, in arroz con pollo, to give the rice a yellow color. In Venezuela, annatto (called locally onoto[8]) is used in the preparation of hallacas, perico, and other traditional dishes. In Brazil, both annatto (the product) and the tree (Bixa orellana L.) are called urucum, and the product itself may also be called colorau.[10]

Achiote (Bixa orellana) pods, showing the red seeds; photographed in Kourou, French Guiana (October 2006).

Food coloring
As a food additive, annatto has the E number E160b. The fat soluble part of the crude extract is called bixin, the water soluble part is called norbixin, and both share the same E number as annatto. Annatto seed contains 4.5-5.5% pigments, which consists of 70-80% bixin.[11] In the United States, annatto extract is listed as a color additive "exempt from certification" and is informally considered to be a natural color.[12][13] The yellowish orange color is produced by the chemical compounds bixin and norbixin, which are classified as carotenoids. However, unlike beta-carotene, another well-known carotenoid, they do not have the correct chemical structures to be vitamin A precursors.[14] The more norbixin in an annatto color, the more yellow it is; a higher level of bixin gives it a more reddish shade. Unless an acid-proof version is used, it takes on a pink shade at low pH. Cheddar cheese is often colored, and even as early as 1860, the real reason for this was unclear: English cheesemaker Joseph Harding stated "to the cheese consumers of London who prefer an adulterated food to that which is pure I have to announce an improvement in the annatto with which they compel the cheesemakers to colour the cheese".[15] One theory is that cheeses regarded as superior in the 16th century had somewhat yellow color, possibly
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Annatto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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from high levels of carotene in the grass on which the dairy cattle fed. Producers of inferior cheese added annatto to the milk to make the cheese appear better quality, thus to command a higher price.[16] As a food color, annatto has less tendency to oxidize than beta carotene. Solvent-extracted annatto pigment present in edible oils at even low practical use levels, markedly delays polymerization of the oils during heating, and thus delays the development of the unhealthy by-products of polymerization.[citation needed] Whether this effect is also present in oil-extracted annatto pigment, where annatto seeds are held in edible oil at high temperature under near vacuum or inert gas, a process that may itself induce polymerization, is not known. Annatto appears to be one of the richest natural sources of delta-tocotrienol (a type of vitamin E), and contains as well gamma-tocotrienol (the ratio between gamma and delta forms is around 9-to-1), while not containing any tocopherols, which inhibit metabolism of tocotrienols in humans.[17] Annatto is used as a source of these two types of tocotrienols for dietary supplements.

Bixin, the major apocarotenoid of annatto[11]

Precautions
According to WebMD, "annatto is safe for most people when used in food amounts. It is not known if annatto is safe for use as a medicine"; since it "might affect blood sugar levels" its use should be stopped "at least two weeks" before scheduled surgery.[18] WebMD also notes that "not enough is known about the use of annatto during pregnancy and breast-feeding" and it "can cause allergic reactions for those sensitive"[19] Annatto has been linked to cases of food-related allergies,[20] but it is not one of the "Big Eight" allergens (cow's milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat) which are responsible for more than 90% of allergic food reactions. The Food and Drug Administration,[citation needed] and experts at the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska do not at present consider annatto to be a major food allergen.[21] Because it is a natural colorant, products containing annatto may be labeled as with "all natural" or "no artificial colors" on the principal display panel (PDP). "Natural" does not, of course, mean safe or nontoxic.[22] Natural food colors such as annatto extract have not been extensively investigated with respect to potential allergic properties. In one 1978 study among 61 consecutive patients suffering from chronic hives and/or angioedema, 56 patients were orally provoked by annatto extract during an elimination diet. A challenge was performed with a dose equivalent to the amount used in 25 grams (0.88 oz) of butter. Twenty six per cent of the patients reacted to this color four hours after intake, worse than amaranth (9%) or synthetic dyes such as tartrazine (11%), Sunset Yellow FCF (17%), Food Red 17 (16%), Ponceau 4R (15%), erythrosine (12%) and Brilliant Blue FCF (14%).[23]

References
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1. ^ "Encyclopedia of Spices" (http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/annatto.html) . TheEpicentre.com. http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/annatto.html. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 2. ^ Lauro, Gabriel J.; Francis, F. Jack (2000). Natural Food Colorants Science and Technology. IFT Basic Symposium Series. New York: Marcel Dekker. 3. ^ "Bija - Achiote" (http://www.indio.net/taino/main/remedio/bija.htm) . Indio.net. http://www.indio.net/taino/main/remedio/bija.htm. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 4. ^ Geography of Crop Plants (http://74.125.95.132/search? q=cache:ziSsTR2UJC8J:www.geog.ufl.edu/courses/FALL2008/ns3315notespart2.pdf+annatto+venezuela+site:.edu&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=firefox-a) 5. ^ Food Culture in South America (http://books.google.com/books? id=paihl6TEZpUC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=annatto+venezuela+onoto) . http://books.google.com/books? id=paihl6TEZpUC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=annatto+venezuela+onoto. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 6. ^ "Colorants Used During Mexico's Early Colonial Period" (http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/bpg/annual/v16/bp16-05.html) . Stanford University. http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/bpg/annual/v16/bp16-05.html. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 7. ^ "Jamaican Annatto" (http://www.getjamaica.com/Jamaican%20Annato.asp) . GetJamaica.com. http://www.getjamaica.com/Jamaican%20Annato.asp. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 8. ^ a b "Spice Pages: Annatto" (http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Bixa_ore.html) . University of Graz. March 19, 2005. http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Bixa_ore.html. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 9. ^ "Common Spices in Modern Philippine Recipes" (http://www.philippinesinsider.com/filipino-cuisine/commonspices-in-modern-philippine-recipes/) . PhilippinesInsider.com. http://www.philippinesinsider.com/filipinocuisine/common-spices-in-modern-philippine-recipes/. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 10. ^ "New Crops from Brazil" (http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/V1-367.html) . Purdue University. 1990. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/V1-367.html. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 11. ^ a b "Executive Summary Bixin, National Toxicology Program" (http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/? objectid=F59ACAC5-F1F6-975E-7C563568F5F7351B#selection) . National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. National Institutes of Health. http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/?objectid=F59ACAC5-F1F6-975E7C563568F5F7351B#selection. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 12. ^ "Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations part 73" (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/21cfr73_02.html) . U.S. Government Printing Office. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/21cfr73_02.html. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 13. ^ "CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21" (http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=73.30) . U.S. FDA. 2011-04-01. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=73.30. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 14. ^ Natural Colors: A Shade More Healthy, Lynn A. Kuntz, Food Product Design (http://www.foodproductdesign.com/articles/natural-food-colors.html) 15. ^ Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, volume the twenty first, John Murray, London 1860 16. ^ "''British Cheese Board''" (http://www.britishcheese.com/doublegloucester) . BritishCheese.com. http://www.britishcheese.com/doublegloucester. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 17. ^ Tan, Barrie and Mueller, Anne (2011) Vitamin E Component Dramatically More Effective at Supporting Heart Health [1] (http://www.vrp.com/antioxidants/annatto-tocotrienols-vitamin-e-component-dramatically-moreeffective-at-supporting-heart-health) 18. ^ "ANNATTO: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings" (http://www.webmd.com/vitaminssupplements/ingredientmono-23-ANNATTO.aspx?activeIngredientId=23&activeIngredientName=ANNATTO) . WebMD. 1999-07-30. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-23-ANNATTO.aspx? activeIngredientId=23&activeIngredientName=ANNATTO. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 19. ^ "Whats Up With Food Dyes?" (http://blogs.webmd.com/healthy-recipe-doctor/2010/07/whats-up-with-fooddyes.html) . Healthy Recipe Doctor. WebMD. 2010-07-09. http://blogs.webmd.com/healthy-recipedoctor/2010/07/whats-up-with-food-dyes.html. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 20. ^ An Allergy to Goldfish? Highlighting the Labeling Laws for Food Additives (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2805955) . U.S. National Library of Medicine. December 1, 2009. PMC 2805955 (http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender.fcgi? tool=pmcentrez&artid=2805955) . http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi? tool=pmcentrez&artid=2805955.
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21. ^ http://www.farrp.org 22. ^ Dunne, F. J. (2009). "The 'Natural Health Service': natural does not mean safe" (http://apt.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/15/1/49) . Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 15 (1): 4956. doi:10.1192/apt.bp.107.005272 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1192%2Fapt.bp.107.005272) . http://apt.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/15/1/49. 23. ^ Mikkelsen H et al. (1978). "Hypersensitivity reactions to food colors with special reference to the natural color annatto extract (butter color)". Arch Toxicol Suppl 1 (1): 141143. PMID 150265 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/150265) .

Further reading
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 edition of The Grocer's Encyclopedia. Allsop, Michael; Heal, Carolyn (1983). Cooking With Spices. Vermont, USA: David & Charles. Lauro, Gabriel J.; Francis, F. Jack (2000). Natural Food Colorants Science and Technology. IFT Basic Symposium Series. New York: Marcel Dekker. Lust, John (1984). The Herb Book. New York: Bantam Books. Rosengarten Jr., F. (1969). The Book of Spices. Pennsylvania, USA: Livingston Publishing Co..

External links
Major Colorants and Dyestuffs Entering International Trade, Annatto Seed and Its Extracts (http://www.fao.org/docrep/v8879e/v8879e04.htm) from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Annatto&oldid=454131127" Categories: Food science Food colorings Plant dyes Spices Natural history of the Americas Culture of the Americas History of cosmetics This page was last modified on 5 October 2011 at 20:58. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of use for details. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

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