carmine(redirected from Cochineal dye)
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a red dye extracted from the bodies of wingless female cochineal insects. Carmine, a complex organic carminic acid, is extracted from the insects with hot water and acetic acid. It is soluble in water and alkalies. One gram of carmine is obtained from 150-175 insects. Carmine is used as a food coloring and a cosmetic dye. It is also used to stain microscopic specimens.