Cochineal in Gran Canaria

It’s an animal origin raw product from the Canary Islands obtained after the natural draining of the female adult hemipterus insects belonging to the family of coccids Dactylopius coccus (commonly Known as cochineal) that once they’re gathered off of the cactus they grow up in (Opuntia ficus indica spp) they’re used for the extraction of the natural dye carminic acid is.

Specifications of the product:

Cochineal from the Canary Islands presents the next characteristics:


  • Physical- Chemical:
    It’s a solid made of little grains that come from the female insects. These grains are irregulary shaped, oval and segmented. The size of the grains is variable, always under 1cm length.
    Humidity: under or equal to 13%.
    Content in carminic acid: higher or equal to 18% on dry susbtance.
  • Organoleptic features:
    The texture of the product is grain-like and dry to the touch. The color varies on the range from dark grey to black, with reddish and whitey tones due to the cotton wax remains that protect the grain.
  • Dyeing features:
    Cochineal is well Known in industrial environments for the carmine or scarlet dye it produces after being put down to various extraction processes in laboratories. Its high dyeing power is used in commerce in the textile industry on cosmetics (for instance, lipsticks or nail polish), Pharmaceutical industries and in food as a natural dye (E-120) in order to give certain products a vivid red colour.

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