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Bixa orellana. A tree found in tropical America, characterized by cordate leaves and spinose, seed-filled capsules; a yellowish-red dye obtained from the pulp around the seeds is used as a food coloring.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Bixa orellana), a tall shrub or small tree of the family Bixaceae. The alternate leaves are cordate-ovate. The large, five-parted flowers are in terminal panicles. The fruit is a polyspermous bivalve capsule. The annatto is native to tropical America. It has been cultivated for a long time in tropical countries of the Old and New Worlds to obtain an orange dye, also known as annatto. The dye is obtained from the fleshy outer covering of the seeds and is used mainly to color butter, margarine, cheese, and similar food products. Indians used the dye as body paint. The annatto is also used as a hedge and as a windbreak.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Annato oil has a soothing topical effect, making it useful in after-sun products, but it is also rich in carotenoids, and can be used as a natural colouring agent in creams and sun tanners.
Beauty Ingredients: Rain forest acai oil, rain forest annato oil, rain forest Brazil nut oil, rain forest buriti oil, rain forest passion fruit oil, rain forest cupuacu butter, rain forest murumuru butter, rain forest copaiba oil, rain forest andiroba oil
They typically include: Cropwell Bishop Organic Blue Stilton (described as creamy, with a "farmy" taste), Shropshire Blue (similar to Stilton but with the addition of Annato spice to give colour), Quicke's Cheddar (a traditional English cheddar) and Appleby's Cheshire (subtle and clean with notes of savoury vegetables).
Of almost 60 products, the most cutting-edge for food industry professionals included Spain's Cabrales cheese, South America's yerba mate, arepas and annato oil.
'In certain parts of the country some cheeses are still dyed with Annato. Pale brands such as Cheshire cheese are dyed to make them a more golden colour and more appealing to consumers.'
We take a simpler tack, serving the roast chicken--colored deep red by the ground annato seeds in the achiote paste--on a bed of the sauteed onions.
Other browning appearances are achieved using annato coloring or a coffi film that is cooked-on or via frying in cottonseed or vegetable oil.
1 tbsp achuete (annato seeds), mixed in 4 tbsp hot water until the reddish color appears.
One of the advantages of taking part of the serum proteins out of the milk prior to cheese making is to make a new milk serum protein byproduct from milk that does not have the contamination with rennet, culture enzymes, and annato color that is normally found in whey after cheese making.
The outside is often rubbed with annato, a neutral-tasting bright orange seasoning used in Yucatecan cookery.