E120 Cochineal

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Cochineal, Carmic Acid, Carmines



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An expensive red colouring, not suitable for vegetarians as it is extracted from the crushed carcasses of the female Dactylopius coccus, a cactus-feeding scale insect, which are killed by either immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. The variety in the appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by these differing extraction methods.

The water soluble form is used in alcoholic drinks with calcium carmine, the insoluble form, being used in a wider variety of products. Together with ammonium carmine they can be found in alcoholic drinks, bakery products and toppings, biscuits, desserts, drinks, icings, pie fillings, some varieties of cheddar cheese, sauces and sweets.

May cause allergic reactions

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Spanish foods, suppliers of serrano ham and spanish foods

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