Peru's achiote exports make their mark
Peru’s Association of Exporters (ADEX) said exports of achiote reached US$4.9 million during the period with a strong global market, the story reported.
ADEX agricultural manager Beatriz Tubino, said the demand was driven by the fruit's content of bixin in its seeds, which is used to make coloring for food products including ice cream, margarine, butter, meat, bread, cheese, yoghurt, pasta and noodles.
"The world's main producer of achiote seeds is Brazil which last year produced 7,500 (metric) tons, followed by Peru with 4,800 (metric) tons, Kenya with 3,500 (metric) tons and Central Africa with 4,000 (metric) tons," she was quoted as saying.
She said the U.S. bought US$1.6 million worth of achiote from Peru in the first four months of the year, followed by Venezuela and Egypt with US$639,192 and US$493,437 respectively, the story reported. There was a total of 42 destinations including Mexico, Ecuador, the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany and Japan.
Pablo Trelles, director of the country's largest achiote exporter Biocon del Peru, said production in 2011 would likely be 4,900 metric tons (MT).
"However, the production of this dye must be technified so you can increase productivity, and to standardize prices to compete with other alternatives," he was quoted as saying.
Achiote is sold in three ways; as a dye, seeds or seed powder.
Photo: Radio Nacional