To talk about Norbixin, you have to talk about Annatto. It comes from the pulp of the annatto seeds of a bushy shrub called Bixa Orellana. The fruits of this shrub are covered with soft opaque bristles or a soft surface. They are round and measure approximately 4 cm wide, and can be found in various colors such as yellow, green-brown and bright red.
The annatto seed contains the pigment called Bixin which is an orange-yellow carotenoid. From the Bixin is obtained Norbixin products that are water-soluble colorants, ie soluble in water, which are used in wrappings of sausages, dairy, snacks, etc..
Therefore, Annatto is the name given to the raw extract, while bixin is the part of the fat-soluble dye and Norbixin is the water-soluble part. All of them have very powerful colouring capacity and are considered to be natural colouring agents that are highly sought after due to their characteristics.
Norbixina has a yellow-red/brown tone and is mainly used to colour sausages such as sausages, dairy products such as yoghurts and even ice cream, various snacks, breakfast cereals, confectionery such as ice cream wafers, dressings and pastries. It is also used for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, textile dyeing, art painting and others.
While bixin is used to color oil-based products such as cheese, processed cheese, snacks, oils, fats, butter and margarines, for example.