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Skeletal formula
Ball-and-stick model
CAS number 6983-79-5 N
39937-23-0 (trans-Bixin)
PubChem 5281226
ChemSpider 4444638 N
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C25H30O4
Molar mass 394.50 g mol−1
Appearance Orange crystals
Solubility in water Insoluble
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Bixin is an apocarotenoid found in annatto, a natural food coloring obtained from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana). Annatto seeds contain about 5% pigments, which consist of 70-80% bixin.[2]

Bixin is chemically unstable when isolated and converts via isomerization into trans-bixin (β-bixin), the double-bond isomer.[1]

Bixin is soluble in fats but insoluble in water. Upon exposure to alkali, the methyl ester is hydrolyzed to produce the dicarboxylic acid norbixin, a water-soluble derivative.

Chemical structure of trans-bixin
Ball-and-stick model of trans-bixin
Chemical structure of norbixin


  1. ^ a b Merck Index, 11th Edition, 1320
  2. ^ Executive Summary Bixin, National Toxicology Program