Carminic acid, from the chemical point of view, is an anthraquinone glycoside with an intense red color, which due to its qualities is used as a dye. In nature it is extracted from the female cochineal of the species Dactylopius coccus , with warm water. Subsequently it is treated with aluminum salts in order to obtain a lacquer with a brighter color. The lacquer is precipitated by adding ethanol, in this way a water-soluble powder is obtained. Even from the eggs it is possible to obtain a colored pigment, with lighter shades. The coloring properties of this cochineal have been known since ancient times, dating back to the pre-Columbian civilizations and, with the Spanish conquests, also became popular in Europe.

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La cochinilla fue introducida a Chile en Cactaceae , and is exploited for its capacity to produce natural dyes based on carminic acid. However, the current price of dry cochineal is nearing production costs; hence, it has b mas ecome necessary to increase yields without increasing costs.

This work reports on the effect of biotic factors on the concentration of carminic acid CAC in cochineal insects. CAC was positively affected by the density of cochineal insects around the insect, that was analyzed by plant age, and by the nutritional status of the plant, and was negatively affected by the age of the cladode.

Additionally, CAC was significantly affected by season: This knowledge may be used in designing cultural strategies to increase carminic acid accumulation in cochineal insects. Scientific Electronic Library Online Spanish. No obstante, se desconoce el comportamiento del insecto y la calidad del colorante obtenido en aquellos hospederos diferentes a los de su habitat natural, donde se desarrolla. Las poblaciones de D. Nevertheless, insect behavior and coloring quality obtained from hosts, other than those of the natural habitat where they develop, are not known.

To clarify the aforesaid, survival and reproduction of D. Cactus pear cultivars provided as nutritional substrate caused differential effect on survival, reproduction, and carminic acid. The highest values of intrinsic rate of increase r m were achieved in the cohorts developed in the cultivars: Offer, Portolano, and Sicilia Bianca, with 0. The D. However, in the latter cultivar, the highest percentage of carminic acid was obtained In this study, it was possible to differentiate cultivars which could be used as substrate for generating breeding stock or for carminic acid production, or serving both purposes.

Tabar, A. We have evaluated the prevalence of sensitization and asthma caused by carmine in a factory using natural colouring, following the diagnosis of two workers with occupational asthma. The accumulated incidence of sensitization and occupational asthma due to carmine in this factory are Occupational asthma caused by inhaling carmine should be considered as a further example of the capacity of certain protein particles of arthropods in this case cochineal insects to act as aeroallergens.

Carmine should be added to the list of agents capable of producing occupational asthma, whose mechanism, according to our studies, would be immunological mediated by IgE antibodies in the face of diverse allergens of high molecular weight, which can vary from patient to patient. Nonetheless, given the existence of different components in carmine, it cannot be ruled out that substances of low molecular weight, such as carminic acid, might act as haptenes.

Besides, since we are dealing with a colouring that is widely used as a food additive, as a pharmaceutical excipient and in the composition of numerous cosmetics, it is not surprising that allergic reactions can appear both through ingestion and through direct cutaneous contact. We find ourselves facing a new example of an allergen that can act through both inhalation and digestion, giving rise to an allergolical syndrome that can show itself clinically with expressions of both respiratory allergy and alimentary allergy.

This knowledge may be used in designing cultural strategies to increase carminic acid accumulation in cochineal insects Scientific Electronic Library Online Spanish.


Carminic acid

Tabar 1 , S. Acero 2 , C. Arregui 1 , M. Quirce 3. Palabras clave. Asma Ocupacional.


Carminic Acid




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