17. Annatto

  1. Mathew Attokaran

Published Online: 7 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch17

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

How to Cite

Attokaran, M. (2011) Annatto, in Natural Food Flavors and Colorants, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch17

Author Information

  1. Plant Lipids Limited, Cochin, India

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 FEB 2011
  2. Published Print: 18 MAR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813821108

Online ISBN: 9780470959152



  • annatto, used as a spice and as coloring material - plant described as a bush;
  • Mayans of Central America - using dye as war paint;
  • Latin Americans as achiote, writers of nineteenth century - glorified it as having “color of fire”;
  • annatto, bright yellow-red to red pigment in aril (seed coat) - of evergreen shrub on fringes of forests;
  • annatto - in Asian countries of India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam;
  • principal coloring compound of annatto, being bixin - a diapocarotenoid;
  • properties of coloring compounds of annatto;
  • extraction, dry seed without grinding - gravity percolation using acetone;
  • methods of testing;
  • annatto extract - used as natural food color in dairy products


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Plant Material

  • Chemistry

  • Extraction

  • Methods of Testing

  • Identification Numbers

  • References