1795 Achiote Saffron natural food colour

1795 Achiote Saffron natural food colour

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Engraved print C 1795 from Bertuch "Bilderbuch fur Kinder". Achiote (Bixa orellana) is a small tropical American tree. American natives use the waxy arils of the seeds to make red body paint.The ground seeds are used in traditional dishes in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Its extracts are also used as an industrial food coloring to add yellow or orange color to many products such as butter, cheese, sausages, cakes, and popcorn. Saffron is a spice derived from the stigma of the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". The styles and stigmas, called threads, are collected and dried to be used as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron is supposedly worth more than its weight in gold and is among the world's costliest spices. It is a genetically monomorphic clone originating in Eurasia (probably Greece) and later taken worldwide.

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Keywords: 1700s, 18th century, achiote, additive, antique, bixa orellana, carotenoids, chemical, colorant, coloring, colourant, colouring, crocus, derived, dye, food, illustration, natural, old, orange, plant, red, saffron, spice, wild

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