Is Annatto safe to use?


At some point, you may have heard about the dangers of food coloring and some reports that even link its consumption to cancer. However, it is very important to keep in mind that these side effects are usually associated with artificial food coloring. Natural colorings, like Annatto, are not dangerous for human consumption.

We would like to highlight the fact that Annatto is obtained from a seed and it is a natural food coloring generally considered safe. However, and although it is rare, some people may be allergic or intolerant to achiote. A case study published in Annals of Allergy reported that a patient experienced symptoms like hives, swelling, and low blood pressure, only 20 minutes after eating a cereal that contained achiote coloring.

However, for most people, a product colored with Annatto represents no problem and can be consumed safely without any adverse side effects.

Annatto, as a natural product, provides some health benefits. For example:

– It has powerful antimicrobial properties that can help to kill some harmful bacteria that cause infections and diseases. Thanks to its antimicrobial effects, Annatto can help prevent bacterial infections and promote better health.

– It is rich in antioxidants and carotenoids. A study published in the Korean Journal of Food Science of Animal Resources discovered that adding achiote seeds to pork burgers increased the antioxidant activity.

– It has a high content of tocotrienol, a type of vitamin E that, according to some studies, might help to keep bones strong and healthy.

– Some studies have found that bixin, the main type of carotenoid found in achiote, might help to protect heart health, since it reduces several risk factors that produce heart disease.

– Thanks to its antioxidant properties, annatto’s carotenoids may have a protective effect on the liver.

For these reasons, it is a great alternative to chemical food colorings, which have proved to produce negative side effects on health. Thus, the answer to the question that opens this article is yes, it is safe to use Annatto as natural coloring.

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