Annatto color is one of the most popular natural colorings in the world, which is known by many names like achiote, onoto, among others. This coloring, which is made from the achiote tree seeds, is derived from carotenoids, which are plant pigments found in the lining of seeds. In most cases, it is ground into powder or paste for use. Its color can also be extracted from seeds and then added to food as coloring. Annato is also used to enhance the flavor of some dishes, since it has a mild and spicy flavor when used in large quantities, as well as a nutty and floral scent.
Annatto is originally from the tropical regions of The Americas and it was used for many years as body paint, sunscreen, and even as a natural insect repellent. Nowadays, it is used all over the world both in domestic kitchens and industrial plants. Interestingly, it remains an especially important and basic ingredient in Latin American, Caribbean and Philippine kitchens.
Annato works very well in protein applications and has a great coloring power; it also has a vibrant color that makes it perfect for coloring and as a flavoring agent. Its color ranges from yellow to deep reddish orange, and its yellow color can be lighten by heating, which facilitates obtaining the required tone. Its by-products include presentations in powder, liquid and oil suspension.
Given the range of color derived from Annato, it can be applied in:
- Dairy products
- Ice cream
- Smoked Fish
- Fruit preparations
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