Description:Carthamine is a natural red pigment derived from safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), earlier known as carthamine.It is used as a dye and a food coloring. As a food additive, it is known as Natural Red 26.
Safflower has been cultivated since ancient times, and carthamin was used as a dye in ancient Egypt.It was used extensively in the past for dyeing wool for the carpet industry in European countries and to create cosmetics for geisha and kabuki artists in Japan, where the color is called beni.It competed with the early synthetic dye fuchsine as a silk dye after fuchsine's 1859 discovery.
It is composed of two chalconoids; the conjugated bonds being the cause of the red color. It is derived from precarthamin by a decarboxylase.It should not be confused with carthamidin, another flavonoid.
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