39. Cochineal

  1. Mathew Attokaran

Published Online: 7 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch39

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants

How to Cite

Attokaran, M. (2011) Cochineal, in Natural Food Flavors and Colorants, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470959152.ch39

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



  • cochineal insects, crimson-colored pigment or carmine - from genus Opuntia;
  • pigment, in use in early American history - by the Aztecs and Mayans;
  • cochineal, valuable item of commerce - commodity exchange centers, London and Amsterdam;
  • appearance of alizarin–based crimson pigment – cochineal use falling, to near nothing;
  • living material, insects producing carmine color - soft-bodied and flat oval in shape;
  • nymphs, secreting white waxy material - a cover, preventing water loss and sunlight;
  • D. coccus, native to South America and Central America – Mexico, host cacti thriving;
  • extractives, dye extracted from female insects;
  • cochineal, a water-soluble natural dye - stable against light, heat and oxidation;
  • hyperactive children's support group - dye to be eliminated from children's diets


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Living Material

  • Extractives

  • General Aspects

  • Uses

  • Analytical Method

  • Identification Numbers

  • References