Spain's conquest of a New World empire in the 16th century introduced new pigments and colors to peoples on both sides of the Atlantic. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. He was found to have developed severe bronchospasm. Upon hospitalization, tests revealed that he had eosinophilia, an increased number of disease-fighting white blood cells, and an elevated serum immunoglobulin (Ig) E concentration (which also fights diseases). Furthermore, the composition of cochineal extracts is not well defined, and, as described further, the established acceptable daily intake (ADI) was based on studies using carmine with a defined amount of carminic acid as test material. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. This site is part of the Natural News Network Â© 2012 All Rights Reserved. For the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF), the acceptable daily intake (ADI) applies to cochineal (carmines), without further details being specified. This would suggest that the Aztec associated the intensity of pigments with the idea of power and life. The insects must be dried to about 30% of their original body weight before they can be stored without … A 27-year old woman with a history of allergic rhinitis and positive responses to skin prick tests with various aeroallergens experienced an anaphylactic reaction requiring emergency treatment after eating a popsicle (iced lollipop) containing carmine.
For example, cochineal was replaced by Spanish dyes like minium and alizarin crimson. Ann.  Production of cochineal is depicted in Codex Osuna.
In recent decades, the breeding of cochineal has been done mainly for the purposes of maintaining the tradition rather than to satisfy any sort of demand. Specifications exist for cochineal extract and carmines, both of which contain carminic acid as the colouring principle. One of these is that it has been found to be associated with severe allergic reactions. Reports of the Scientific Committee for Food, fourteenth series. Today, carmine is primarily used as a colorant in food and in lipstick (E120 or Natural Red 4). All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.
Both the ionisation properties of carminic acid and indirect evidence from toxicological studies suggest that these compounds can be absorbed to some extent as suggested by the accumulation of colour in tissues and the red colouring of urine reported in rats treated with ammonium carmine. Cochineal bugs in their natural state.
Friday, December 08, 2017 by Rita Winters, http://www.naturalpedia.com/cochineal-extract-toxicity-side-effects-diseases-and-environmental-impacts.html. The nymphs secrete a waxy white substance over their bodies for protection from water loss and excessive sun. Carmine became the region's second-most-valuable export next to silver.
A woman aged 35 presented to an emergency service with generalized urticaria, angioedema, and asthma that had begun 2 hours after she had eaten a yogurt containing carmine dye. All the new patients were female (aged 25-43) and had drunk Campari with orange or Campari Bitter before experiencing either acute urticaria and angioedema (two cases) or an anaphylactic reaction requiring emergency treatment (two cases). The patients refused a double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge. Cochineals are farmed in the traditional method by planting infected cactus pads or infesting existing cacti with cochineals and harvesting the insects by hand. Kägi, M.K., Wüthrich, B. , Several natural enemies can reduce the population of the insects on hosts. The remaining material (50 to 80 %) is not precisely specified, being only described as cations that may be present in excess in the colour and also maybe containing proteinaceous material derived from the source insect, together with free carminate or a small residue of unbound aluminium cations. These individuals establish feeding sites on the new host and produce a new generation of cochineals. It is also used in histology as a preparatory stain for the examination of tissues and carbohydrates. Together with ammonium carmine, they can be found in meat, sausages, processed poultry products (meat products cannot be coloured in the United States unless they are labeled as such), surimi, marinades, alcoholic drinks, bakery products and toppings, cookies, desserts, icings, pie fillings, jams, preserves, gelatin desserts, juice beverages, varieties of cheddar cheese and other dairy products, sauces, and sweets.  Recipes for artists' use of carmine appear in many early painting and alchemical handbooks throughout the Middle Ages; the laking process for both pigments was improved in the 19th century. Allergy Asthma Immunol., 79, 415–419.  Produced almost exclusively in Oaxaca by indigenous producers, cochineal became Mexico's second-most valued export after silver. Kermes carmine was used as a dye and a laked pigment in ancient Egypt, Greece, Armenia and the Near East and is one of the oldest organic pigments. tomentosa. The European Food Safety Authority Panel considered that, since no threshold dose can be established for allergic reactions, it is advisable that exposure to the eliciting allergens, such as proteinaceous compounds, in cochineal (E 120) is avoided by introducing appropriate purification steps in the manufacturing process.
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