|Additive Summary||Annatto (E160b)|
|Essence||Annatto or E160b is a natural dye created from the Bixa Orellana and one of the most widely used food coloring agents of all.|
|Names||CI 75120, Bixin, Norbixin, E160b, Annatto, CAS No. 1393-63-1, and others.|
|Sourcing||It is sourced from the seeds of Bixa Orellana, also known as Achiote or the Annatto tree (family Bixaceae).|
|Manufacturing||There are many ways to create this additive. Generally, it’s first a matter of mechanically removing aril (the extra seed covering) from the seeds by abrading it, typically. This is done into an appropriate suspending agent. Second, the seeds are removed from the suspension. Then, the suspension is typically acidified, filtered, washed, dried, and milled, or it undergoes some other combination of these processes depending on the desired extract subtype. Heating or cooling can also be applied in the process. Depending on the actual appropriate suspending agent one of five different extracts can be created. These are either one of the two bixin-based ones (aqueous-processed bixin (Annatto E) or solvent-extracted bixin (Annatto B)) or one of three Norbixin-based extracts (alkali-processed, acid-precipitated norbixin (Annatto F), alkali-processed, not acid-precipitated norbixin (Annatto G), or solvent-extracted norbixin (Annatto C)).|
|Application||Coloring (yellow to orange to red to dark red-brown to red-purple). It can be both fat-soluble & water-insoluble (Bixin or E160b(i)) and water-soluble & fat-insoluble (Norbixin or E160b(ii)).|
|Acceptable Daily Intake||Annatto Bixin is recommended in amounts no more than 6 milligrams on every kilogram of body weight daily. Whereas with Annatto Norbixin, that number is 0.3 milligrams (EFSA).|
|Side Effects||Side effects are tricky because most people will not have any. But the color can bring violently allergic reactions to those others (plus, this dye may not be always easy to identify as the culprit). It can cause swelling, itching, stomach pain, hives, irritable bowel syndrome, and others.|
|Benefits||It can definitely offer some benefits. It can boost skin health, improve digestion, provide anti-aging benefits, strengthen bone health, reduce blood sugar levels, aid in managing diabetes, augment eye and liver health, as well as offer antimicrobial, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammation properties.|
|Studies||260+ studies on Pubmed. 20+ studies on safety.|
|Health Knight Assessment
||Potentially Harmless. | Category 2 Additive.|
|Products||It’s pretty common with supplements. Annatto can be found in supplements like the Skinny Fit Super Youth, Healthy Directions Dr. Sinatra Omega Q Plus, Nature Made Vitamin D3, Shaklee CarotoMax, Nature’s Truth Extra Strength Melatonin (Natural Berry), and many others.
When it comes to processed foods it’s extremely widely used. It can be found in cheeses, cheese snacks, all kinds of chips and crisps, cookies, ice cream, sauces, bread, crackers, beef patties, rice, pasta, desserts, croutons, pizzas, jelly beans, popcorn, pork and chicken snacks, oatmeal, seasonings, margarine, chocolate, sweets, candy, spice mixes, mustard, pastries, biscuits, cereal, cakes, yogurts, sandwiches, bouillons, butter, dips, burritos, fruit bars, grain bars, salads, burgers, sour creams, dressings, marinades, custards, sausages, spreads, lasagnas, truffles, smoked fish, and others.