USAID helped Aicacolor install the first bixin factory in Peru – one of the only five in the world. Aicacolor is a Peruvian enterprise dedicated to the production and commercialization of natural colors for the food industry with a focus on dairy products. Bixine and norbixine, natural colorants extracted from the annatto tree, are used to give color to processed products such as oil, cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, and yogurt.
USAID is contributing to poverty alleviation through the creation of jobs and income, as well as encouraging private investment in targeted areas. Aicacolor’s principal challenges are to consolidate and strengthen its presence in the new markets by the development of new products and maintaining efficiency in the production process. USAID helped Aicacolor focus on three main areas - assistance to the raw material suppliers, development of new products (which now represent 40% of the company’s sales) and identification of new potential markets in Spain, England, Japan, Brazil, Chile and the United States.
Aicacolor has the capability to process approximately 1,500 metric tons of annatto tree seeds annually which are used as raw material for the production of forty metric tons of bixine composites, with an estimated value of $4 million dollars per year. This processing capacity has made transport and commercialization more efficient, lowering the costs and reducing the losses in the production process. Aicacolor has generated thirty-six direct jobs and approximately 1,500 indirect jobs in one of Peru’s drug production areas, providing an alternative to coca cultivation.
Last updated: August 16, 2013