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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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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Tocotrienols are derived from three major sources, including rice, palm, and annatto. The current study used annatto tocotrienols from DeltaGold, which is the only source that is free from tocopherol, and was supplied by American River Nutrition.
Annatto seeds are commonly used for coloring cheddar cheese, but also are used in Caribbean cuisine.
To conclude, we have shown that annatto dye, a yellow-coloured pigment from the tropical plant B.
Bixin oil extraction generates a large amount of byproducts in the form of annatto seeds that are impregnated with both the oil used in extraction, and residual pigment.
This "natural'' product (which is usually found in the popcorn aisle) contains the very non-natural partially hydrogenated soybean oil, as well as maltodextrin and extracts of annatto.
Norbixin is the primary carotenoid in annatto coloring that imparts the desired orange color in Cheddar cheese.
For example, in response to a massive petition signed by 364,000 consumers, Kraft is removing artificial food dyes--yellow #5 and yellow #6--from their macaroni and cheese products and will replace them with natural pigments such as paprika, annatto, and tumeric.
Bombay Spice is an intoxicating and slightly sweet blend of paprika, onion, tumeric, garlic, and annatto. Falafel, the flavor of which I was most dubious, turned out to be my favorite.
Although alkaline extraction regimes have been used previously to determine levels of annatto in food, these methods are unsuitable for the extraction of curcumin as it is unstable in alkaline conditions [4-6].
Another interesting fact is that 70% of all natural coloring agents consumed worldwide are derived from annatto [4].
This pigment, which is known as annatto (E160b), contains approximately 80% bixin (BIX; Figure 1(a)), an unusual lipid-soluble carotenoid that has a free carboxyl and an esterified carboxyl end group [13].
Furthermore, Singles contain no artificial preservatives and are naturally colored orange by using paprika and annatto. I feel comfortable recommending this product as a part of a healthy diet.