Natural Coloring: Annatto

colorante natural annatto

Annatto, one of the most popular natural colors in the world. It is known under different names: achiote, onoto, atsuete or urucum, depending on its location.  It is made from achiote tree’s seeds. It works very well in protein applications and has a great coloring power; it also has a vibrant color that makes it perfect for coloring and as a flavoring agent. Its color ranges from yellow to deep orange. Its by-products include presentations in powder, liquid and oil suspension.

This natural coloring comes from carotenoids, which are plant pigments found in the lining of seeds. In most cases, it is ground into powder or paste for use. Its color can also be extracted from seeds and then added to food as coloring. Annato is also used to enhance the flavor of certain dishes. It has a mild and spicy flavor when used in large quantities, as well as a nutty and floral aroma.

Annatto is native to the tropical regions of America. Historically, it was used as body paint, sunscreen, and even as a natural insect repellent. Nowadays, it is used all over the world both in domestic kitchens and industrial plants; it is grown in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Interestingly, it remains an especially important and basic ingredient in Latin American, Caribbean and Philippine kitchens.

Also, it has been used for many years as coloring for dairy products, since its color ranges from yellow to orange-red, and its yellow color can be clarified by heating, which facilitates obtaining the required tone.

As mentioned earlier, it is one of the most important natural coloring today, and can be used for:

  • Cereals
  • Pastries
  • Candy
  • Oils
  • Dairy products
  • Ice cream
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Snacks
  • Sauces
  • Smoked Fish
  • Margarine
  • Fruit preparations

For more information about these and other colorants please contact us at the following link.

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