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Food Additives > Natural Food Colors > Carminic Acid

Blended Food Colors

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Food Colors

Carminic Acid

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.
Melting Point 136°C (Decomposes)

Carminic acid has been used as a colorant even in the ancient civilizations be it the 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 these carminic acid producing insects.

Carminic acid is a glucosidal hydroxyanthrapurin derived from cochineal. The 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. The chemical designation of carminic acid is 7-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-9,10-dihydro-3,5,6,8-tetrahydroxy-1-methyl-9,10-dioxo- 2-anthracenecarboxylic acid.

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