Color - Magenta - pink -red
Source - Dried Female Cochineal Insect
Solubility - Water, Mineral Acids, ether, alkali,
Insoluble in - Oils and Fats, alcohol, organic Solvents.
Type - Lake pigment
Stability - Stable in Heat and Light
Storage - Cool Dark Place
Applications - Fruits, yogurts, processed food, cosmetics.
Carmine has been used as a colorant even in the ancient civilizations be it Egyptian or the Maya or the Inca. At one point the worth of this color was more than that of real gold. It is used as a food colorant, a dye and body colorant. Canary Islands and Peru are the major centers for the cultivation of the cochineal insects known as the best source of carmine.
Dried cochineal contains 17-24% carminic acid. It is subject to cautious extraction process in acidic, aqueous, alcoholic solution. It is then precipitated as carmine.