Annatto is a natural red plant extract used to dye foods, textiles, and body care products. The food additive number for annatto is E160b. Annatto’s primary use is as a red food coloring in a wide assortment of foods. It appears in cereals, preserved meats, cheeses, sweets, and numerous other foods. Annatto is safe for vegetarians and vegans, since it contains no animal products and is not processed with animal materials, and is also approved for religious diets.
Food dyes can sometimes cause allergic reactions. Children seem to be especially susceptible to annatto.