August 24, 2018
Bangla Govt to go for large-scale plantation of bixa for natural food colouring
The State Agriculture Department has decided to plant bixa trees (bixa orellana), known as latkan in Bengali, on a large scale in its farms for extracting dye from its seeds in order to make natural food colouring.
The tree is also known as lipstick tree, the reason being that its seeds were used to make lipstick and body paint in certain parts of central and South America, where it originated.
The yellow-orange extract also provides a subtle flavour and aroma to food. The extraction of natural dye from bixa would be a huge boon for the State as several types of artificial food colouring have been found to be harmful.
Following the direction of the Agriculture Minister, senior scientists of Fulia Agriculture Training Centre have initiated work to increase the production of the plant. The Agriculture Department would take the help of the Science & Technology Department for adopting the latest technology to extract the dye.
The Fulia centre has already achieved success. Around 2 kg of seeds have been produced, using which cultivation is possible on a plot of 70 bighas.
With proper promotion of the bixa seed dye, it will become popular among food product manufacturers and the tendency of using artificial colour will go down.
Source: Millennium Post