"Achiote" redirects here. For the corregimiento in Panama, see Achiote, Colón
The tree is best known as the source of annatto
, a natural orange-red condiment (also called achiote or bijol) obtained from the waxy arils
that cover its seeds.
The ground seeds are widely used in traditional dishes in Central
and South America
, and the Caribbean
, such as cochinita pibil
, chicken in achiote
and caldo de olla
. Annatto and its extracts are also used as an industrial food coloring
to add yellow or orange color to many products such as butter
, margarine, ice creams, meats, and condiments.
Some of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South American originally used the seeds to make red body paint
, as well as a spice.
For this reason, the Bixa orellana
is sometimes called the lipstick tree
The species name, Bixa orellana
, was given by Linnaeus
after the Spanish conquistador, Francisco de Orellana
, an early explorer of the Amazon River
The name achiote
derives from the Nahuatl
word for the shrub, āchiotl [aːˈt͡ʃiot͡ɬ]
. It may also be referred to as aploppas
, or by its original Tupi
("red color"), which is also used for the body paint prepared from its seeds.
Etymology and common names
The botanical genus
name derives from the aboriginal Taíno
word, "bixa", while the specific epithet
was derived in honor of the Amazon explorer, Francisco de Orellana
Colloquial names include, orellana
, and many other names used regionally.
The nickname, "lipstick tree", derived from use of the dye as a cosmetic
is a perennial, tall shrub that can reach 6–10 m (20–33 ft) high.
It bears clusters of 5 cm (2 in) bright white or pink flowers, resembling single wild roses, that appear at the tips of the branches.
The fruits of the Bixa orellana
are globular, ovoid capsules arranged in clusters resembling spiky looking red-brown seed pods covered in soft spines.
Each capsule, or pod, contains 30-45 cone shaped seeds covered in a thin waxy blood-red aril
When fully mature, the pod dries, hardens, and splits open, exposing the seeds.
The shrub is most well known as the source of the red-orange, annatto pigment. The pigment is derived from the pericarp (the waxy aril layer that covers the seeds) of the Bixa orellana
The red-orange annatto dye is rich in the carotenoid pigments
, 80% which consists of bixin
(the red pigment) and norbixin
or orelline (the yellow pigment).
Although the exact origin of Bixa orellana
is unknown, it is native to northern South America and the Central American tropics: "it is said to be indigenous by Seemann on the northwest coast of Mexico and Panama, by Triana in New Granada, by Meyer in Dutch Guiana, and by Piso and Claussen in Brazil”.
Additionally, Bixa orellana
is found in substantial wild and cultivated acreages from Mexico
, and Bolivia
Although an invasive species
, it is cultivated in many world regions.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the annatto dye was distributed to Southeast Asia
, Africa, the Caribbean
, Hawaii and southeastern North America in tropical and subtropical regions through trading exchanges.
It became cultivated in tropical regions of Asia, such as India, Sri Lanka, and Java mainly for the dye which the seeds yield.
Mature achiote pods, showing the red seeds
grows easily in subtropical to tropical climates, in frost-free regions sheltered from cool winds.
It prefers year-round moisture, good drainage, and moderately fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. It can be propagated from seed and cuttings. Cutting-grown plants flower at a younger age than seedlings.
The main commercial producers of B. orellana
are countries in Latin America (specifically Peru, Brazil and Mexico) which constitute 60% of total world production followed by Africa (27% of total world production) and Asia (12% of total world production).[better source needed]
Production statistics are not usually available, and would not provide a reliable guide to international trade since many of the producing countries use significant quantities domestically (e.g., Brazil is a large producer and consumer, needing additional imports). Annual world production of dried annatto seed at the beginning of the 21st century was estimated at about 10,000 tons, of which 7,000 tons enter international trade. Peru is the largest exporter of annatto seed, annually about 4,000 tons; Brazil the largest producer with about 5,000 tons. Kenya exports annually about 1,500 tons annatto seed and extracts and is the second-largest exporter, after Peru. Côte d'Ivoire and Angola are also exporters.
Oil of Bixa orellana
The annatto pigment has global economic significance as it is one of the most widely used natural dyes to color food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. It is used commonly in foods because the coloring does not alter the flavor and is not toxic.
It is mainly used to dye ice cream
, meats, dairy products (cheeses, butter and margarine) and condiments
Cosmetic products include lipstick, hair coloring products, nail polish, soaps, lacquers and paints.
Ground Bixa orellana
seeds are often mixed with other seeds or spices to form a paste or powder for culinary uses in Latin American
, and Filipino
cuisines. The seeds are heated in oil
to extract their dye and flavor for use in dishes and processed foods such as cheese
, cured meats
, and other items. The seeds impart a subtle flavor and aroma and a yellow to reddish-orange color to food. In Brazil
, a powder known as colorau
is made from the ground seeds combined with filler seeds like maize
. This powder is similar to and sometimes replaces paprika
condiment called recado rojo
or "achiote paste" is made from ground Bixa orellana
seeds combined with other spices and is a mainstay in Mexican
A condiment called sazón
is commonly used in Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisine for meats and fish. The Spanish word sazón
means "season" or "seasoning". Sazón
is made with ground Bixa orellana
seeds and packaged into small, disposable foil packets for easy use. Additionally, cumin
, coriander seeds, salt, and garlic powder are included in these sazón
On Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands, the annatto pigment is also used to make yellow rice and is sometimes added to sofrito
Additionally, in the French Caribbean, it is added to a fish or pork stew called blaff.
One major traditional use of the Bixa orellana
plant was for body, face, and hair paint among various tribes and ancient civilizations either for decorative purposes or as omens
to ward off evil spirits and illnesses.
It has been reported to be used by Brazilian native tribes, the native Taínos
in Puerto Rico, the Tsáchila
and different Amazonian tribes.
As a result of the Spanish Conquest
, the Bixa orellana
was introduced to tribes like the Aztecs
who showed evidence of later use.
The Aztecs also apparently used the annatto pigment as red ink for manuscript painting in the 16th century.
is used in traditional medicine
The tree has been used in Ayurveda
, the folk medicine practices of India
, where different parts of the plant are thought to be useful as therapy.
The Annatto pulp and other parts that contain astringent properties are used to cure cases of dysentery, jaundice (leaves) and other kidney diseases.
The plant is valued for its stem fiber to make rope mats and for the adhesive gum.
- ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Bixa orellana (annatto)". Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI). 27 September 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Julia F Morton (1960). "Can Annatto (Bixa orellana, L.), an old source of food color, meet new needs for safe dye?". Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society. 73: 301–309. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
- ^ Levy, Luis W.; Rivadeneira, Diana M. (2000). "Annatto". In Lauro, Gabriel J.; Francis, F. Jack (eds.). Natural Food Colorants Science and Technology. IFT Basic Symposium Series. New York: Marcel Dekker. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-8247-0421-6.
- ^ "Plants profile for Bixa orellana (lipsticktree)". Plants database, US Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
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- ^ Ul-Islam, S; Rather, LJ; Mohammad, F (2015). "Phytochemistry, biological activities and potential of annatto in natural colorant production for industrial applications – A review". Journal of Advanced Research. 7 (3): 499–514. doi:10.1016/j.jare.2015.11.002. PMC 4856788. PMID 27222755.
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- ^ Raddatz-Mota, Denise; Pérez-Flores, Laura J.; Carrari, Fernando; et al. (May 2017). "Achiote (Bixa orellana L.): a natural source of pigment and vitamin E". Journal of Food Science and Technology. 54 (6): 1729–1741. doi:10.1007/s13197-017-2579-7. ISSN 0022-1155. PMC 5430180. PMID 28559632.
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- ^ "RECIPE: Recado Rojo :: LOS DOS". www.los-dos.com. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
- ^ a b c "Achiote: The Spice That Dyes Food Yellow". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
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- ^ Ellison, Don (1999) Cultivated Plants of the World. London: New Holland (1st ed.: Brisbane: Flora Publications International, 1995)
- ^ Graf, Alfred Byrd (1986) Tropica: color cyclopedia of exotic plants and trees for warm-region horticulture--in cool climate the summer garden or sheltered indoors; 3rd ed. East Rutherford, N.J.: Roehrs Co
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Last edited on 23 April 2021, at 18:54
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