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 cochenillifera, also classified as Opuntia cochenillifera, 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cochineal

1. a Mexican homopterous insect, Dactylopius coccus, that feeds on cacti
2. 
a. the colour of this dye
b. (as adjective): cochineal shoes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The spherical AgNPs were also indicated by a STEM image in the sample synthesized from 0.4 ml of the cochineal extract (Figure 4(b)) in agreement with the suggested results obtained of the LSPR bands.
The inset in Figure 5 shows ApNPs synthesis with 0.4 mL of the cochineal extract, which was dried at 100[degrees]C as well as a graphical representation of the scattering of X-rays in the film.
The cochineal extract exhibited no reduction peak; however, three oxidation peaks were observed at -0.14, -0.32, and -0.61 V in the aqueous medium.
These results show that the AgNPs synthesized from 0.4 ml of the cochineal extract have a smaller energy gap and thus have better photon absorbance (2.169 eV) than the corresponding AgNPs synthesized from 0.1 ml of the cochineal extract (2.669 eV) in the UV-Vis region.
Figures 7(a)-7(d) show AFM images from the samples of the cochineal pigment and AgNPs (0.4 ml and 0.1 ml of the cochineal extract) on silicon.
The higher cochineal concentration (0.4 ml of the cochineal extract) generated spherical AgNPs of 5 to 10 nm and good stability at room temperature.
Insets follow the intensity of the absorbance peak overtime (0.1 ml of cochineal extract: 443 nm and 0.4 ml cochineal extract: 428.5 nm).
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.
Guidance for Industry: Cochineal Extract and Carmine: Declaration by Name on the Label of All Foods and Cosmetic Products That Contain These Color Additives; Small Entity Compliance Guide [website].