Annatto (Bixin / Norbixin)

Annatto, a carotenoid, is extracted from the orange coloured outer coat surrounding the seeds of the shrub Bixa orellana. This plant is native to South America, India, East Africa, the Caribbean and Philippines.

Annatto, when initially extracted, is known as Bixin. Bixin is the Oil Soluble form of annatto, the primary ingredient surrounding the seeds in the fruit of the plant. It can be turned into Norbixin, which is truly water soluble – reducing the need for emulsifiers or gums. This is a unique attribute of annatto within the carotenoid family. Annatto extracts are available as water soluble, emulsions, or oil soluble. DDW has a core competency in seed sourcing and annatto extraction. Annatto blends with turmeric or paprika oleoresin expand the possibilities of the yellow to reddish-orange range.

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DDW’s Certified Organic Annatto

In June 2013, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced changes to its National Organic Program (NOP). Revisions include removal of the allowance for non-organic annatto extract colour from the National List. In short, all organic food products using annatto extract for colour must use a certified organic version by November 3, 2014. US certified organic ingedients may be marketed as organic in the European Union thanks to a trade agreement signed in 2012.

Consumers are demanding more and more organic foods and are interested in knowing where their food ingredients are sourced. Our certified organic annatto extracts are available in both water soluble and oil soluble forms.

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