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 ?
On the Turkish side of the river, knowledge of how to produce Armenian cochineal red has been lost since 1915, while on the Armenian side, the plant and insect are threatened by extinction due to 20th century industrialisation.
On the other hand, cochineals might be easy target for entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae), which are naturally found in the soil, and which can also adapt themselves to this environment when they are released in directed applications.
It is also the most common host for the cochineal insect, the source of vibrant red dye that was the mainstay of a number of local pre-colonial economies in Central America, becoming an even more sought-after commodity with the coming of the Spanish.
Onion skins (yellows), walnut hulls (browns), avocado peels and pits (pale pink), marigolds (yellows), sumac leaves (brown), mushrooms and lichens (with their rainbow of possibilities), cochineal (fuchsias and reds) and madder root (oranges and reds) are traditional favorites.
The officers' jackets' were a stunning red extracted from the cochineal insect.
They are listed as carmine, cochineal extract or natural red 4 on ingredient labels.
To create a chequered board look: Divide the mixture into two, pouring one half of the mixture into a square cake tin lined with clingfilm and colouring the other half with a drop of cochineal before pouring into a another clingfilm-lined cake tin.
A red coloring produced from the cochineal, a scaled insect often exported from Peru, already puts the hue in a trendy Italian aperitif and an internationally popular brand of strawberry yogurt.
1) The next year, vegans were outraged to learn that Starbucks used cochineal extract, a color additive derived from insect shells, to dye their strawberry Frappuccino[R] drinks (2) (eventually, the company decided to transition to lycopene, a pigment found in tomatoes (3)).
Letter of the wins PS25, the others PS10 I W some I WAS horrified to read some of the food and drink I regularly buy is made to look good by firms adding cochineal obtained from crushed beetles and other parts of once living creatures.