Native to Central and South America, Bixa orellana is a large evergreen shrub with pods containing a deep orange-red seed that is referred to as annatto. Annatto seeds are enjoyed for their slight floral aroma and earthy, almost peppery flavor. The seeds are traditionally ground with other spices to create a seasoning blend which is then added to culinary dishes.
Also called achiote, the seeds are most notably in use today as a coloring agent. Annatto is a wonderful natural alternative to synthetic food colorings. It is often used in the artisanal and industrial food industry to color cheeses, dairy products, cakes, and more. The vibrant color comes from the waxy coating of the seeds which contains various carotenoid pigments.
Annatto has a long history of use in the tropical regions of the Americas and has since naturalized in other parts of the world, integrating itself into the cultures of Southeast Asia and India, among others. Besides a food colorant and culinary spice, annatto seeds were also traditionally used to make cosmetics and red body paint. It carries many common names depending on the region it grows in, one of them being “lipstick tree” stemming from its use as a lip dye. Our clearance annatto seeds are certified organic.
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This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.