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Annatto Seed

  • Bixa orellana
  • Origin: India
Annatto Seed

SKU
ann_1oz

Common Name

Standardized: annatto
Other: achiote, lipstick tree

Botanical Name

Bixa orellana L.
Plant Family: Bixaceae

Overview

Introduction

Annatto is a South and Central American herb producing small, dark, red seeds with a faint, flowery odor. The tree was introduced to the Philippines during its Spanish period. In 1540, the Spanish mercenary Gonzalo Pizarro left the plunder of the Incan Empire on rumors that groves of cinnamon trees were to be found in the Amazon basin. Almost his entire force perished in the jungle. He escaped by sailing down the Amazon, his primary plunder the annatto berries he found instead of cinnamon.

Constituents

The intense red color of the seed is due to bixin in the seed coat. Annatto also contains very high concentrations of carotenoids, chemicals in the same class as alpha- and beta-carotene.

Parts Used

The seed (in cooking) or the seed coat (for commercial food production).

Typical Preparations

Ground seeds or seed coats.

Summary

Annatto has been used for centuries to keep food from spoiling.

Precautions

Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.