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Annatto (Bixa orellana)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Datasheet

Description
Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Annatto, lipstick tree, achiote tree, [English]; rocouyer, rocou, roucou [French], anato, urucuzeiro, urucu, açafrao do Brasil [Portuguese]; Mzingifuri [Swahili]; 红木 [Chinese], 빅사 [Korean]; ベニノキ [Japanese]; Điều nhuộm [Vietnamese]

Related feed(s) 
Description 

Annatto (Bixa orellana) is a perennial shrub or small tree that is grown for its seeds.  Annatto seeds produce bixin, a colorant that is used in several foods, drugs and cosmetics. After bixin extraction, the seedcake can be used as feed for farm animals. The seed coat (shell) can be used as a soil amendment (Pratibha et al., 2013; Jansen, 2005

Morphology

Annatto (Bixa orellana) is a taprooted, perennial, evergreen or deciduous shrub or small tree that reaches up to 3 m in height and has distinctive large pink flowers. The crown is round. Annatto trunk may be up to 10 cm in diameter. The bark is pale to dark brown in colour, sometimes fissured and lenticellate. The young branches are greenish and rusty-dusty scaly. They become dark brown and ringed at the nodes with maturity. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple and entire, petiolated.The leaf-blade is ovate in shape and 5-25 cm long x 4-16 cm broad. The flowers are bisexual, pentamerous, pinkish, whitish or purplish tinged, and approximately 4-7 cm in diameter. They form clusters at the apex of the shoots. The fruits are white, yellow or redish ovoid capsules, 2-4.5 cm long × 2-4 cm wide, the skin of the fruit has huge number of bristles. They contain many (10 to 60) obovoid and angular seeds, 4-5 mm long, bright orange-red in colour (Jansen, 2005).

Uses

Annatto is a multipurpose tree mainly used as a source of bixin (from the latin name Bixa orellana), a natural pigment that is used in several products. This pigment is known as roucou and is recorded as E160b in the list of food additives in Europe (EFSA, 2016). Roucou is used in many European dairy specialties like Mimolette, Livarot, Reblochon and Cheddar. It is also used for haddock colouring and for dressings like "Achiote", common in many latino-american recipes as a flavouring and colouring agent for meat.  Bixin is also used in drugs, cosmetics (nail varnish, lipstick, self tanning cream etc...), and for textile dyeing. Roucou oil is also used as an insect repellent. After a decline during the 20th century, the use of natural colorants has been gaining renewed interest and their use increased by 35% between 2005 and 2009. Once pigments have been extracted from the seed coat, the remaining seed can be used as a feed for livestock. Immature fruits can also be used as fodder for livestovk. The fruit shell has been used as a soil amendment (Pratibha et al., 2013). The seeds have many ethnomedicinal uses and the tree can be planted as a beautiful ornamental in home gardens or as a shade and nurse plant in vanilla plantations. Annatto is a good live fence because cattle and goats does not consume the leaves (Jansen, 2005).

Distribution 

Annatto originated from tropical America and is now found (wild or cultivated) in a wide range of tropical and subtropical climates around the world. Indian populations already used annatto as a colouring and flavouring agent in antiquity. The red colour was endowed with a symbolic power and the nutty peppery flavour of annatto was much appreciated (Jansen, 2005)

In Africa, it is mainly cultivated but it could become naturalized locally in Kenya and Tanzania (Jansen, 2005).

Annatto is found from sea level up to 2000 m altitude but would do better below 800 m (Quiñones-Bravo et al., 2014; Orwa et al., 2009). Annatto grows better in frost-free areas where average temperatures are of 20–26°C and average annual rainfall are 1250–2000 mm, well distributed over the year, with a marked dry season for seed ripening. In places where rainfall is not evenly distributed, irrigation may be required. Annatto grows on a wide range of soils, but does better on well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soils. It responds well to deep, fertile and organic matter rich soils.  Annatto is a good choice on limestone, where the topsoil is only a few centimeters thick.(Orwa et al., 2009; Jansen, 2005).

Processes 

Bixin and norbixin can be extracted from the waxy coat of the seeds in several ways. The traditional process uses water (aqueous extracted bixin) and consists in soaking annatto seeds in water. The other extraction media are solvent (solvent-extracted bixin and solvent extracted norbixin (annatto C) and  alkali (alkali-processed + acid precipitated norbixin; alkali-processed + not acid precipitated norbixin) (EFSA, 2016).

After pigment extraction, the spent seeds can be used for animal feeding (Jansen, 2005)

 
Forage management 

It is possible to propagate annatto by seeds or cuttings. In the case of seeds, they can be sown directly (2-3 seeds in each hole) in a well-prepared seedbed or in planting trays from which they will be transplanted during 3-4 months. Seeds remain viable during 1 year and readily germinate. In the case of cuttings, stems of 8 mm or more are cut and treated with a rooting hormone. After 7-9 weeks, they have produced abundent roots and are placed in pots or bags at the nursery were they stay for 3 months. After that, they can be tranplanted in the field (Jansen, 2005).

It is possible to grow annatto under different agronomic systems. In Mexico, for example, annatto can be grown as a backyard tree or be integrated in the traditional "Milpa" system, in association with maize, beans and squash crops and other fruit trees, 3 m apart (Pech-Hoil et al., 2017). Annatto intended for commercial production is planted in rows 3–4 m apart, with plants spaced at 2–3 m or more within the row, depending on soil and climate (Pech-Hoil et al., 2017; Jansen, 2005).

Annatto tree starts producing fruits after 2-4 years. It survives 30 to 50 years, depending if it is grown in commercial plantation or as an agroforestry species (Quiñones-Bravo et al., 2014).

Seed yield

Annual seed yields may be in the range  of 800-1200 kg/ha (0.5-4 kg per tree). In Karnataka state of India, 2.6 t seeds/ha were obtained under good fertilizer management (Kumar et al., 2012). Up to 3–5 t seeds/ha have been reported, but, in Sri Lanka, only 625 kg/ha could be obtained (Jansen, 2005).

Environmental impact 

Soil improver and windbreak

Annatto sheds large amount of leaves to the ground and thus increases soil organic matter.  It is also reported to make an effective windbreak, even with only a raw of trees (Quiñones-Bravo et al., 2014).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Annatto seeds contain 40-45% cellulose, 3.5-5.5% sucrose, 0.3-0.9% essential oil, 3% fixed oil, 4.5-5 .5% pigments (comprised of 70-80% bixin), 13-16% protein, and other constituents. Annatto seeds also contain tannins, ethereal oils, saponins, mustard oil-like substances and mono- and sesquiterpenes (NTP, 1997).

(Rodrigues-Filho et al., 1993)

Spent seeds

relatively high amount of protein, which fluctuated between 13 and 17%. Crude fiber levels were also high, about 16%; however, more than 50% of this fiber can be eliminated through sifting of the seed flour.This operation also increases protein content (Bressani et al., 1983). Annatto seeds have a high phosphorus and a low calcium content.

Spent annatto seed protein contains adequate levels of tryptophan and lysine, but is low in methionine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine and threonine. The protein quality of Annatto seed flour was about 65% that of casein, this could be attributed to amino acid deficiency (Bressani et al., 1983).

Ruminants 

Spent annatto seeds

Degradability and digestibility

After bixin extraction, spent annatto seeds can be fed to ruminants. The in vitro DM degradability obtained in buffalo rumen liquor was 61.4 % (Kumar et al., 2007). The rumen protein degradability of annatto seeds was reported to be as high as 60% and was the highest rumen degrability among other tropical fruits (Pereira et al., 2010).

In sacco studies in buffaloes revealed that the effective degradable DM and protein of spent annatto seed was 62.4 and 23.2 %, respectively (Kumar et al., 2007). In cattle, the  intestinal digestibility of rumen undegradable protein was 41% (Pereira et al., 2010).

Calves

Spent annatto seed (Bixa orellana) could be used to partly replace concentrate (mixture of groudnut meal, dried tapioca chips and rice bran) in the diet of Jersey calves (6-9 months old) ( (Ananthasubramaniam et al., 1981).  The spent annatto seeds contained 7.9% digestible crude protein and 67.2% total digestible nutrients. There was no difference in concentrate or roughage intake but the average daily gain was lower in calves fed on annatto seeds. For one kg of body weight gain, 6.84 kg of feeds were necessary in the annatto seed diet vs 5.71 kg for the control diet. Daily intakes of digestible crude protein were 369.7 and 356.5 g and of total digestible nutrients 2.37 and 2.25 kg for annatto seeds and control respectively. Nitrogen retention was 55.5 and 30.4 g/day for annatto and control groups, respectively (Ananthasubramaniam et al., 1981).

Silage

Adding 16% annatto spent seeds to elephant grass  for the production of silage  improved overall silage nutritional value (Rêgo et al., 2010).

Fruit shell and spent seeds

The composition and nutritional value of annatto fruit shell and spent seeds was assessed for ruminants in Amazonia and it was concluded that both fodders had high fibre content and low protein digestibility and could not be recommended as valuable alternative feeds for ruminants (Rodrigues-Filho et al., 1993).

Pigs 

No information could be found in the use of annatto in pig feeding (as of 2021).

Poultry 

Annatto spent seeds as feed and colouring agent

The seed meal is seldom used as a protein feed. Only one experiment referred to its use as a feed in poultry. It was reported to be included at up to 15% in a sorghum based diet prepared for slow-growth broilers. The sorghum-annatto diet dit not affect feed intake, feed conversion ratio, or animal performance (yield of carcass, of breast and drumstick +tigh, relative weight of the liver). Including annatto spent seeds improved significantly colour parameters of the meat and the sorghum-annatto diet was recommended to replace a corn based diet in slow growth broilers  (Souza et al., 2015). In India, annatto spent seed meal was used to replace maize grain in broilers diet. Broilers intake remained unchanged up to 75% replacement of maize grain but animal performance was reduced at 50% inclusion and feed efficiency decreased from 25% inclusion (Jayawickrama et al., 2010).

Annatto spent seeds as colouring agent

Annatto spent seeds are mostly used as a substance for giving colour to poultry meat and eggs when mixed with poultry feeds. Annatto seeds may also be used as antioxidant in poultry diets (Mohammed et al., 2018). In such cases, the inclusion of annatto seeds were generally lower than 3% (Martinez et al., 2021; Mohammed et al., 2018; Garcia et al., 2010; Carvalho et al., 2009). In one experiment in laying hens, it was shown that above 7% inclusion, annatto seeds had deleterious effect on egg flavour. It was then recommended that annatto concentrate was applied at 1% to give acceptable color intensity and egg flavor(Ofosu et al., 2010).

Annatto ground seeds (not spent)

Annatto seeds could be included in sorghum-based, laying hens diet at up to 2.5% but only 0.9% were suffficient to improve yolk colour in eggs (Garcia et al., 2010) It was also possible to add 2% annatto ground seeds to commercial diet based on maize grain and soybean meal innorder to improve yolk colour (Garcia et al., 2015).

Rabbits 

No information seems available in the international literature on the utilisation of any part of annatto (Bixa orellana) in rabbit feeding. However some information available about its use in other animal diets may arouse some interest for rabbits.

Leaves

Annatto trees are planted as wind shelter and live fence because goats and cattle do not eat their leaves, which may be due to their bitter taste (Lim, 2012; Radhika et al., 2010). However, rabbits may, to a certain extent, like some bitterness in their feeds (Cheeke,1987). It would thus be useful to design direct experiments in order to determine the interest of annatto leaves for rabbits.

Seeds

Annatto seeds have been used safely by Central and South American populations for centuries, as a food colouring or flavouring agent (Oliveira et al., 2012; Ulbricht et al., 2012). The chemical composition of annatto seeds (12-17% crude protein and 4-16% crude fibre in DM) advocates for its use as a potential feedstuff for rabbits (Dike et al., 2016; Lim, 2012). Results from experiments in poultry reported positive effect on animal performance (+3% body weight in broilers) when annatto seeds were included at low levels (< 2%) in broiler or laying hens (Moncayo et al., 2020; Garcia et al., 2010; Garcia et al., 2015). Annatto seeds could thus be expected to have the same positive effects in rabbits. However, because of the interest of annatto seeds in the manufacture of food colouring agent, the prices of annatto seeds are high and not economically competitive for their use in rabbit feeding.

[Original text : Since centuries Bixa orellana seeds are used safely by Central and South American
populations as coloring or flavouring agent in their food (Oliveira et al., 2012; Ulbricht
et al., 2012). Otherwise, ground seeds incorporated in layer hens maize-soybean diet
improvement of yolk colour; but higher incorporation level (1.75%) impairs feed intake
and eggs production (De Carvalho et al., 2009). On laying hens sorghum based diet,
an incorporation level of B. orellana seeds of 0.89% is sufficient to promote an eggs
pigmentation similar to that obtained with a maize based diet (Garcia et al., 2015)(attention : spent seeds?).

On the other hand, addition of B. orellana seeds in chickens diet (2%), improves weight
gain (.+3%) and reduces bodily harm in broilers.(Moncayo et al., 2020). For all theses
reasons Bixa orellana seeds could be considered as a potential feedstuff for rabbits :
12-17% protein and 4-16% crude fibre in DM (Lim, 2012; Dike et al., 2016). But
because they are used in human food industry and other industrial uses, mainly as
colouring agent, the price of the seeds is generally not economi
cally competitive with
classical raw materials used in rabbit feeding].

Spent seeds

Otherwise, ground seeds incorporated in layer hens maize-soybean diet
improvement of yolk colour; but higher incorporation level (1.75%) impairs feed intake
and eggs production (Carvalho et al., 2009). On laying hens sorghum based diet,
an incorporation level of B. orellana seeds of 0.89% is sufficient to promote an eggs
pigmentation similar to that obtained with a maize based diet (Garcia et al., 2015)(attention : spent seeds).

not consistent with 

Because spent annatto seeds could be safelyand effectively fed to poultry even at high dietary levels (25%), spent annatto seeds could be considered a potential ingredient for rabbits which has high phosphorus but poor calcium content (0.70 and 0.14% in DM respectively( xxx et al., ???) (Senthilkumar et al., 2008; Jayawickrama et al., 2010). Direct experiments with rabbits would be, however welcome.

Fish 

Annatto seeds have been used as feed additive (colouring agent of fish meat) in fish farming. It was found that annatto seed meal was effective at very low level (200-250 mg/kg diet) in the diet of rainbow trout (Onchoryncchus mykiss) to increase blood carotenoid content (BCC) and fillet color stability of the fish after freezing (Safari et al., 2015). The experiment also reported that BCC and growth performance and fish feed intake gere positively correlated (Safari et al., 2015). More recently, a higher level of annatto seed powder (7.5 g/kg) in the diet or rainbow trout juveniles yielded the best growth perfomance and health parameters (blood parameters) (Heidari et al., 2019).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 15.6 1
Crude protein % DM 0.0 1
Crude fibre % DM 3.2 1
Ether extract % DM 1.9 1
Ash % DM 6.4 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 16.7 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 0.5 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 0.6 1
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 85.1 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.2 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

INCAP/ICNND, 1961

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:37

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 94.4 1
Crude protein % DM 7.0 1
Crude fibre % DM 15.4 1
Ether extract % DM 4.9 1
Ash % DM 5.3 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.4 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 0.1 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 0.1 1
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 65.9 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.2 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

INCAP/ICNND, 1961

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:37

References
References 
Datasheet citation 

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/180 Last updated on September 20, 2021, 14:17