Annatto is a natural cheese colouring. It is a liquid form and in its undiluted state it is dark reddish brown. It can be used to turn the cheese a red colour (eg Red Leicester), if a lesser amount is added it turns cheese into an orange colour (eg Double Gloucester) and if a lesser amount again a yellow colour (eg Cheddar). Dosage is very dependent on each person’s preference for what final colour they want in their cheese, as a guide use between 0.1ml for a light yellow colour up to 1ml per litre for a red colour. Add directly to the warmed milk at the same time as the starter cultures and stir in well. A syringe works well for this.
Annatto is water soluble and easily dispersed in milk. It is stored in the fridge. Best Before is 12 months from date of manufacture but it will last well beyond the best before date. It is produced by extraction of annatto pigments from the seeds of the annatto tree (Bixa Orellana). Annatto should be stored at 4 C