cochineal


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Related to cochineal: Cochineal dye

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 ?
The goal of this research was to improve the properties of the cochineal by the synthesis of silver nanoparticles.
Red velvet cupcakes use crushed cochineal bugs for their colouring
Cochineal can quickly destroy hundreds or even thousands of hectares of cacti and its impact will be detrimental to livestock, nutrition and the economy, he pointed out, adding that the devastating parasite which ravages several hundred hectares of cacti in different regions of Morocco, has recently approached the northeastern region of this country.
Historically produced from carminic acid, the pigment is extracted from the "Ararat", or Armenian cochineal, an endangered insect that lives in the roots of a plant in the Ararat Plain and Aras River valley that runs through and alongside Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran.
In this work, it was also evident that cannot be a requirement for the choice of the isolate for cochineal control, since, apparentlly, both showed cruiser" habit, and both displaced easily in the sand column.
A red to purple coloring pigment obtained from dried bodies of the female insect Coccus cacti, carmine (or cochineal) must be labeled in a packaged food or beverage product because it is a potential allergen.
People in the UK may have |unwittingly eaten other insects called cochineal bugs, which are sometimes used in sweet goods as red food colouring Carmine (E120).
Productivity of cochineal insects Dactylopius coccus (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) reared on cactus pear cladodes Opuntia ficus-indica (cactacea) produced under different fertilization conditions.
Cactus juice is used in plaster and the cochineal insects that are drawn to the plants have long been a source of red dye.
And from the American desert Southwest, those dazzling reds and fuchsias are made from cochineal, a parasite that lives on cactus.