Annatto

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annatto

[ə′näd·ō]
(botany)
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.

Annatto

 

(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.

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Rennet is then added to the batch, followed by anatto, a naturally-occurring plant-based orange colouring agent.
It is known by other popular names in other countries: atole, achiote, and bija (Peru and Cuba); axiote (Mexico); achiote, achote, anatto, bija, and santo-domingo (Puerto Rico); bixa (Guyana); analto (Honduras); guajachote (El Salvador); onotto and onotillo (Venezuela); achiote and urucu (Bolivia); urucu (Argentina); roucou (Trinidad); roucou and koessewee (Suriname); and annatto (United States).
And in former UK colony St Lucia, bananas--in the heyday of preferential European markets called "yellow gold"--are used as the base for, among other things, ketchup of the yellow variety marketed by Baron Foods and of the more familiar variety by Viking Traders, reddened by the anatto (NOTE--SPELLING CORRECT) seed.