Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tropical American evergreen shrub or small tree (Bixa orellana), having heart-shaped leaves and showy, rose-pink or sometimes white flowers.
  • noun The seed of this plant, used as a coloring and sometimes as a flavoring, especially in Latin American cuisine.
  • noun A yellowish-red dyestuff obtained from the arils of this plant's seeds, used especially to dye fabric and to color food products such as margarine and cheese.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as arnotto.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable A tropical American evergreen shrub, Bixa orellana; the lipstick tree.
  • noun uncountable The seed of this tree used as a colouring or in Latin American cooking.
  • noun uncountable An orange-red dye obtained from this seed.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Of Cariban origin.]

Examples

  • Best known as annatto, it's an inexpensive food coloring, grown commercially around the world, that gives products like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese an orange hue.

    Skin-Deep Gains for Amazon Tribe

  • John Lyons/The Wall Street Journal Images of Yawanawá Indians in grass skirts can help Aveda sell its popular Uruku line of lipsticks, eye shadows and facial bronzers, which use urukum, more commonly known as annatto, for body paint.

    Aveda's Skin-Deep Alliance in Brazil

  • Best known as annatto, it's an inexpensive food coloring, grown commercially around the world, that gives products like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese an orange hue.

    Aveda's Skin-Deep Alliance in Brazil

  • Today, these seeds are used as a dye called annatto that colors everything from butter to salad oils.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • Today, these seeds are used as a dye called annatto that colors everything from butter to salad oils.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • Today, these seeds are used as a dye called annatto that colors everything from butter to salad oils.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • However, as consumers show a growing preference for natural foods and for foods free of colorings, companies respond by omitting colors or switching to safe, natural colorings, such as beta-carotene, turmeric, paprika, beet juice, and annatto.

    Maria Rodale: What's All This Food Coloring Good For?

  • However, as consumers show a growing preference for natural foods and for foods free of colorings, companies respond by omitting colors or switching to safe, natural colorings, such as beta-carotene, turmeric, paprika, beet juice, and annatto.

    Maria Rodale: What's All This Food Coloring Good For?

  • However, as consumers show a growing preference for natural foods and for foods free of colorings, companies respond by omitting colors or switching to safe, natural colorings, such as beta-carotene, turmeric, paprika, beet juice, and annatto.

    Maria Rodale: What's All This Food Coloring Good For?

  • You can also check product ingredient lists for beet, carotenes, annatto, capsanthin (a paprika extract) -- as all are natural colorants.

    EatingWell: Trick or Treat: The Hidden Health Risks of Food Dyes

Comments

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  • Seeds used in South American and Caribbean cooking.

    February 6, 2007