Annatto Food List

By , 19 November, 2009 , 11 Comments

Annatto is known by many names. If you are reading labels, look for annatto but also look for bixin, bixa arellana, bixaceae or achiote.

Here is my personal list of foods that are known to contain annatto:

  • Yellow cheeses
  • Some white cheeses
  • Crackers: Triscuits are OK.
  • Cereals: Rice Krispies are OK.
  • Bottled/Commercial salad dressings
  • Ice cream: Usually light colors
  • Yogurt
  • Coffeemate and Cremora
  • Mustard: Gourmet, dips and spreads
  • Medications: Capsule coloring
  • Rice noodles: Thai, Chinese, etc.
  • Chicken bouillion, cubes only.
  • Commercial potato salad: Togo’s in particular
  • Tamales
  • Crystal Light Drink Mixes
  • PAM with butter
  • Herbed butter and garlic butter
  • Knorr dry mixes (e.g. Spanish rice)
  • Ready-to-go market chicken and ribs
  • Butter: check label
  • Popcorn: microwave and theatre
  • Organic coloring agent: read label
  • “Color added”: Read label
  • Italian, Garlic and Herb Bread spread
  • Nutri-system food plan: not all foods
  • “Rubs” on chicken and ribs
  • Custards
  • Crumbed foods
  • Matzo ball mix (some) (added 5-21-2010)
  • Weight loss program meals (added 5-21-2010)
  • Toddler foods, including yogurt, fromage frais and dried fruit bars (added 5-21-2010)
  • Toddler vitamins
  • Heinz Little Kids Wholegrain Cereal bars – Apple & Cinnamon, Apricot (added 5-21-2010)
  • Fruit bars and dried fruit: Apricot Delight and apricot fruit bars in particular
  • Corn nuts with seasoning: Original OK
  • Smoked fish
  • Fruit Juice drinks
  • Knorr Spanish Rice Seasoning, etc.
  • Girl Scout Cookies: Lemon in particular
  • Packaged Powdered Donuts
  • Pepperidge Farm cookies: not all (read the label) (added 5-21-2010)
  • Cheddar Rice Cakes
  • Spanish rice (added 3-29-2010)
  • Marinated salads (added 3-29-2010)
  • Snack foods (added 5-21-2010)
  • Rice Noodles (added 5-21-2010)
  • Crumbed chicken and fish products, like nuggets and fingers (added 5-21-2010)
  • Artificial crab meat (added 9-2010)
  • Salmon burgers (added 9-2010)
  • Cheerios (added 9-2010)
  • Chili Cheezits (added 9-2010)
  • Tim Hortons Whole Grain Muffins (added 9-2010)
  • Ice cream cones (added 9-2010)
  • Goldfish crackers (added 9-2010)
  • McCain frozen potato products (fries, hashed browns, etc.) (added 9-2010)
  • Regular Cheez-its (added 2-2011)
  • and Pepperidge Farm Baked Cheddar Cheese Goldfish (added 2-2011)
  • Frozen french fries and most frozen veggies with butter (added 2-2011)
  • Most no salt butters (added 2-2011)

Note for my friends outside of the United States or who have more exotic tastes: Imported foods are required but, not regulated, to list annatto. It is best to avoid certain packaged imported products such as cheese and noodles.

For more information, google “annatto” and “annatto allergy” and see what you find!

If you know of other specific foods that have annatto, please leave a comment here so we can add it to the list!

11 Responses {+}
  • Jane

    Please add salmon burgers and artificial crab meat to your list.

  • Alison

    Please add Cheerios (at least in Canada)

  • Karen

    Add Tim Hortons Whole Grain Muffins…annatto is in the struessel. Also icecream cones (cones) whole wheat kraft dinner, goldfish crackers, frozen potatoe products such as french fries and has browns (McCain)

  • mer

    Please add chili cheezits to your list.

  • Tina

    I looked at Honey Nut Cheerios, and they don’t list annatto – but, I’m skeptical – do manufacturers have to list added colors if they are there? I realize that they don’t have to list annatto specifically, but if there are any colors added, do they have to divulge that information?
    I am thrilled to realize that this may be my problem, but now leary about going out anywhere!

  • Sherrie

    Add frozen french fries and most frozen veggies with butter. Also most baked goods at the grocery stores use annatto. Most butters now have removed annatto from their regular butter but add it to the no salt butters. Tillamook vanilla ice cream does not have annatto in it. It is one of the few that doesn’t. Almost all ice cream bars have it in it. I am glad to find out that I am not alone with this allergy. I think it should be listed with the FDA as an allergy and listed when used instead of natural or artificial color.

  • Susan

    Please add regular Cheez-its and Pepperidge Farm Backed Cheddar Cheese Goldfish to the list

  • Kris

    I found out recently (about 4 months ago) that I cannot eat anything with Annatto. I had severe stomach problems for years and they cleared up once I started to avoid Annatto.

    Looking at your list it appears I’m still making mistakes… but I am feeling much better regardless. When my mother-in-law saw me at Christmas she commented on how much better I looked.

    I am bookmarking this page and will contribute anything I discover that has Annatto.


  • Kris

    French’s mustard is ok. I confirmed w/ the manufacturer

  • Kim Luckey

    Reading a book called The Crazy Makers by Carol Simontacchi ( How the food industry is destroying our brains…). It stated that annatto often causes skin rashes and large wheels on the skin. My 7 year old son has two large circle rashes on his buttocks that will not go away.
    Doctor treated him for ring worm, didn’t help. Just discovered the Horizon Organic American Singles he eats several pieces of every day contains annatto. Has anyone found any cheese without annatto? Is anyone having rash symptoms?

  • Marlene Stein

    Thank you, Susan. We added them!

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