- Planted in and about towns throughout the Philippines.
- Native of tropical America.
- Widely cultivated and naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the rest of the world.
- Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, steroids, alkaloids, proteins, flavonoids, terpenoids, phenolics, tannins and glycosides.
- Bixa orellana seeds are the only natural source of bixin, a carotenoid widely used in food industry as colorant.
- Seed contains a fatty oil with palmitin, a little stearin, and phytosterol.
- Study of carotenoid pigments in the seeds identified bixin, norbixin, ß-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and methyl bixin.
- Aqueous extracts yielded six major compounds viz. 2-butanamine, acetic acid, pentanoic acid (valeric acid), phenol, pantolactone, and benzoic acid. (see study below) ( 32 )
- Phytochemical analysis of seeds showed phenolic compounds and flavonoids to be present in all extracts. The maximum amount of phenolic compounds was found in the aqueous extract with mg of GAE/g of extractive. Isolation of purified bixin was done from the seeds. (see study below) ( 39 )
- Main carotenoids from the seeds are Apo- ψ -carotene, 9′ Z -6′-ol, ß-carotene, bixin, Z-carotene, cryptoxanthin, dimethyl-(9Z)-6,6'-diapocarotene-6,6'-dioate, dimethyl-(9Z,9'Z)-6,6'-diapocarotene-6,6'-dioate, phytoene, phytofluene, geranylgeraniol, lutein, methyl-(9Z)-10'-oxo-6,10'-diapocarotene-6-oate, methyl-(9Z)-6'-oxo-6,5'-diapocarotene-6-oate, methyl-(9Z)-8'-oxo-6,8'-diapocarotene-6-oate, methyl-(9Z)- apo -6,lycopenoate, methyl-(7Z,9Z,9'Z)- apo -6'-lycopenoate, methyl-(9Z)- apo -8'-lycopenoate, methyl-(all-E)- apo -8-lycopenoate, neurosporene, norbixin, Trans-bixin, zeaxanthine.
- Phytochemical screening of leafs yielded alkaloids, terpenoids, steroids, phenols, and tannins. (see study below) ( 53 )
The early steps in the biosynthesis of steroids of both plants and animals are the same, except that in plants lanosterol is replaced by the related compound cycloartenol, which contains a three-membered ring (C9, C10, C19) in lieu of the nuclear double bond of lanosterol. The side chains of the phytosterols, such as stigmasterol, and of the sterol ergosterol of yeasts and other fungi contain extra carbon atoms that are incorporated in reactions involving S -adenosylmethionine, which donates methyl groups in numerous biological processes. Although most plant tissues contain only traces of cholesterol, this sterol is the biogenetic precursor of such important plant steroids as the sapogenins , glycosides , and alkaloids . Because pregnane derivatives are intermediates in some of these transformations, plants and animals appear to have important features of steroid metabolism in common.