Have you heard the term Annatto before? You’re probably wondering if it’s a fun tropical island you can travel to, or maybe even an article of clothing you can wear, but really, it’s something that is more prevalent in your daily life than you had imagined.
Annatto is a type of food coloring made from the seeds of the achiote tree. It ranges from yellow to red-orange in hue, depending on the application and dosage rate, and is a staple in the food and beverage industry. It is also considered a staple in the dairy industry because it is stable, economical, and comes in a wide variety of forms, including powder, paste, liquid, and essential oils, making it applicable for use in almost any application. A unique fact about annatto is that although it is not well-known, an estimated 70% of natural food colors are derived from it. It also acts as a condiment used to enhance the flavor of dishes due to its slightly sweet and peppery taste.
Annatto also has many possible health benefits associated with it. Annatto contains various plant-based antioxidant properties that are designed to neutralize potentially harmful molecules. If these harmful molecule levels rise too high, they could damage your cells. This means that annatto can help lower your chances of developing a chronic condition such as cancer and heart disease. Research discovered that annatto also encompasses antimicrobial properties that aid in food preservation. This means that its purpose is to further extend the shelf-life for many food products, such as bread. A few other miscellaneous health benefits associated with annatto is that it may promote eye health, aid heart health, and may reduce inflammation in the body.
Overall, it appears that this natural color is generally safe for most individuals. Although still in the early stages of research, the biggest side effect discovered thus far with this seed/food coloring is allergies. This appears to be very minimal for something that has many health benefits associated with it. There still needs to be additional research done to verify if annatto could be a possible recommendation regarding human health reasons.
At Nelson-Jameson, we believe in promoting food safety and offering options that are best suited for company’s to utilize in their industry. That is why we currently offer various annatto color options that are designed to offer natural color solutions for cheese products.
Link to article: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/annatto#bottom-line