A yellow, peach or red vegetable dye obtained from the seed
coat of the fruit of the Annatto tree, Bixa orellana. May be
either oil-soluble or water soluble and is stable in processing,
baking and brine.
Currently being used in place of the highly allergenic Tartrazine,
E102, although the Hyperactive
Children's Support Group believe there is a possibility
of an allergic reaction to Annatto.
Mechanical abrasion using food grade vegetable oil produces
oil-soluble Annatto. Bixin can then extracted by solvents such
as acetone, hexane or methanol, with further processing with
an aqueous alkali producing Norbixin. Water soluble Annatto,
containing both Norbixin and Bixin which can then be extracted,
is obtained by agitation with an aqueous alkali.
Used, sometimes in combination with E100,
in cheese (Cheshire, Double Gloucester and Red Leicester), coleslaw,
crisps, custard, fish fingers, flavoured instant mashed potato,
fruit and cream fillings and toppings, frying oil, ice cream
and lollies, icings, liqueurs, low calorie spreads, margarine,
meat balls, salad cream and mayonnaise, smoked fish, soft drinks,
sponge cakes and puddings, steak and kidney pie pastry and yoghurt.
Also used as a body paint, digestive aid and expectorant. Also
used in soap, fabric dye and varnishes.