Our Beautiful World

LANZAROTE - Our Holdiay Island !    

Here in the El Jardin de Cactus you can see more cactuses that you ever dreamed of.
Almost 1.400 species fo cacti and succuelnts are placed in the grounds and the
sorrounding terraces. And they are well worth a visit! Just keep your hands off!

The Cactus Garden was the most recent of the Lanzarote Island Council's Tourist
Centres to open. Built in circular shape in the form of an amphitheatre, the garden is
sorrounded by walls of thick volcanic rock. The beds housing the cacti are covered with
layers of the black porous volcanic grains, known as lapilli (picon in Lanzarote) which
you find all over the island


Historically, one of Lanzarote's major agricultural crops has been the prickly pear or
'tunera' cactus cultivated to attract the cochineal beetle, Dactylopius coccus.
Squeeze it in your hand, and out comes a strong red dye. When dried and processed, is used as
colouring by the pharmaceutical and drinks industries. The surrounding area outside the garden,
is the centre of this cacti's cultivation on the island.

Think of those tiny cosy louses,
Dactylopius coccus which you
can credit the beautiful colour of your lipstick, next time you use it!

It is said that the insects are killed by either immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight,
steam, or the heat of an oven. The variety in the appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by
these differing methods. It takes around 70,000 insects to make one pound of cochineal.

Female-lous with newborn tiny nymphs - washcloth dyed
with cochineal
cactus pad.
(Foto fra Wayne's Word)

Together with ammonium carmine they can be found in alcoholic drinks, bakery products
and toppings, biscuits, desserts, drinks, icings, pie fillings, variety of cheddar cheese, sauces
and sweets.

It is one of the colours that the Hyperactive Children's Support Group recommends be eliminated
from the diet of children.

This part has been taken from the following web-site:
'E120 Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines'
at: http://www.bryngollie.freeserve.co.uk/E120.htm

more text to follow


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