Updates on chemistry and use of annatto (Bixa orellana L.)

Bogdan Demczuk Jr, Rosemary Hoffmann Ribani


Food color is the first attribute evaluated by the consumer. Therefore, the food industry is concerned about the use of colorants in food materials to make them more attractive. Between the colorants used by the food industry, annatto is a raw material that allows the obtaining a large amount of natural pigments. The annatto dye is extracted from the outer layer of Bixa orellana L. seeds by immersion in alkaline solution, vegetable oil or organic solvents. In addition to the commercial preparations, a large amount of brazilian annatto seeds is used to prepare “colorífico”, a spice obtained from the mixture of pigment or grinded seeds with corn flour, vegetable oil and salt. Besides the bixin carotenoid, the seeds presents other components such as geranylgeraniol, with important pharmacological properties. The annatto seeds variability are influenced by conditions of post-harvest processing and the different cultivars used in industry. After the annatto processing, about 96% of waste are generated, which after dried and milled remain appropriate for reuse. During de pigment analysis in foodstuffs, the preparation techniques, the compounds separation and quantification requires, the use of standards with high purity and stability.


DOI: 10.14685/rebrapa.v6i1.144


Bixa Orellana; bixin; HPLC; stability; by-product.

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DOI: 10.14685/rebrapa.v6i1.144


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