Annatto seed is what you will hear when these seeds are used in cooking, but they are usually called “Achiote,” pronounced “ah-chee-OH-tay.” The annatto seed, or Bixa orellana, is indigenous to south America but is grown in Brazil, Guatemala, India, Peru, the Philippines, and Western Africa.
Annatto has coloring pigments, with the main one being bixin. Bixin is an oil-soluble apocarotenoid, and that along with a few other lesser coloring pigments make up 7% of the dry seed.
This plant gets fame in the beauty world for its brilliant shades of red- some people even call this the lipstick tree as many high-end brands use the vibrant reds as a coloring agent in their lipsticks.
Annatto is called “ushyut” in Arabic, “yan zhi shu” in Mandarin, “roucou” in French, “annatto” in German, “achiottai” in Hindi, “beninoki” in Japanese, “urucum” in Portuguese, “annatto biksa” in Russian, and “bijol” in Spanish.