Annatto Seed

Annatto is an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana). It is often used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods, but sometimes also for its flavor and aroma. It is also used in cosmetics, as a fabric dye, body paint, sunscreen, insect repellent, and medicine. It is also a rich source of anti-oxidants.

Annatto is grown in Indian in forests regions viz. Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Thiruvananthpuram, Malabar and Coromandal coasts and in certain districts of west Bengal, Maharashtra, Assam, Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.

Annatto seeds have a bright prospects of marketing in India and abroad. Within India, the markets in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Mahdya Pradesh are worth mentioning. According to rough estimates, the quantum of seed handled annually in the market of these States comes to about 180 – 250 tonnes.


  • Used as a spice in many types of food throughout the world.
  • Also as a coloring agent in many processed food products.
  • Ground annatto seeds, often mixed with other seeds or spices, are used in the form of paste or powder for culinary use.


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