cochineal

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cochineal

(kŏchĭnēl`, kŏch`ĭnēl), natural dye obtained from an extract of the bodies of the females of the cochineal bug (Dactylopius confusus) found on certain species of cactus, especially Nopalea coccinellifera, native to Mexico and Central America. The insects' bodies contain the pigment called carminic acid, which is obtained by subjecting a mass of the crushed insects to steam or dry heat; such large numbers of the insects are needed to produce a small amount of dye that the cost is high. Once commonly used as a scarlet-red mordant dye for wool and as a food color, cochineal has been largely replaced by synthetic products. It is used chiefly now as a biological stain.

Cochineal

 

the general name for several species of insects of various families of the suborder Cocciodea, the females of which are used to make a red dye called carmine. Mexican cochineal (Dactylopius coccus), the most highly valued species, lives on the cochineal cactus. Native to Mexico, it is also cultivated in Central America, Western Europe (Spain), North Africa, and eastern Asia and has almost entirely replaced other species on the world market. Other cochineal species include Armenian cochineal (Porphyrophora hamelii ), which is found in Armenia on the roots of grasses, and Polish cochineal (P. polonicd), found in Western Europe and the European USSR on the roots of strawberries and other herbaceous plants. In the 20th century the development of synthetic dyes has sharply reduced the cultivation of cochineal insects, although natural carmine is still used in some industries, such as food processing and perfume manufacture, and for staining microscopic preparations.

cochineal

[′käch·ə‚nēl]
(chemistry)
A red dye made of the dried bodies of the female cochineal insect (Coccus cacti), found in Central America and Mexico; used as a biological stain and indicator.

cochineal

1. a Mexican homopterous insect, Dactylopius coccus, that feeds on cacti
2. 
a. the colour of this dye
b. (as adjective): cochineal shoes
References in periodicals archive ?
Carmine or cochineal extract was developed as a natural alternative to synthetic dyes such as Red No.
Likewise, we are transitioning away from the use of cochineal extract in our food offerings which currently contain it (Raspberry Swirl Cake, Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing, and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie).
For instance, there is evidence that cochineal extract may cause allergic reactions and asthma, (41), (42) and caramel coloring came under fire when it emerged that it can contain 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), an animal carcinogen sometimes produced as a manufacturing by-product.
2[*] Colors Exempt from Certification Annatto extract B-Apo-8'-carotenal[*] Beta-carotene Beet powder Canthaxanthin Caramel color Carrot oil Cochineal extract (carmine) Cottonseed flour, toasted partially defatted, cooked Ferrous gluconate[*] Fruit juice Grape color extract[*] Grope skin extract[*] (enocianina) Paprika Paprika oleoresin Riboflavin Saffron Titanium dioxide[*] Turmeric Turmeric oleoresin Vegetable juice [*]Then food cob additives are restricted to specified uses.
The Bixa Orellana tree, whence annatto is derived, was named after the conquistador Francisco de Orellana who first explored the Amazon River in 1541, whilst cochineal extract was given as a tribute to Montezuma the Aztec ruler
The red food coloring called carmine or cochineal extract comes from.