What are the characteristics of high quality saffron? Is it necessary to know these characteristics?
Saffron is the dried stigma of the Crocus atavist plant which is bought and sold worldwide as an expensive spice. Saffron is a fragrant and tasty spice that is popularly used in cooking, baking and herbal tea. It is interesting to know that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and is known as red gold due to its valuable properties.
The world’s red gold: saffron
Historically, people used saffron in food and medicine since they knew it has special properties. Today, experts have done numerous studies on saffron and the results show that saffron is beneficial for health, wellbeing, and skincare. With the publication of these results and the general population’s increased knowledge regarding the benefits of saffron, its consumption has increased exponentially, and the spice has gained popularity worldwide.
It is interesting to know that in addition to its use in food, saffron is also used as herbal medicine, which we will further discuss below.
Uses of saffron in food
For many years, people are using saffron in the preparation of various foods and desserts due to its pleasant aroma and strong color. Among the most famous recipes that have saffron, the following delicacies can be mentioned:
- ice cream and rice pudding, which are famous Iranian desserts
- Delicious saffron mousse with a Jell-O filled center
- pudding which is the most popular dessert in the world.
- bread or lussekatte
Use of saffron tea as a medicine of nature
Today, due to an increased understanding of the properties of saffron tea, consumers consider it a miracle of nature and consume the tea daily as part of their diet. Saffron tea’s refreshing and soothing properties are two popular reasons for this expensive herbal tea’s consumption.
What are the physical and mental benefits of using saffron?
As a result of their research, experts have identified saffron as an antioxidant that helps in the treatment of a variety of diseases. Therefore, based on these results we can establish saffron tea as the world’s healthiest drink that holds the secrets of youth.
Some of the health benefits of saffron are:
- Reduced anxiety and stress caused by fatigue from work and daily activities
- Increased energy
- Anti-aging due to reduced anxiety and stress
- Increasing beauty by using saffron as a beauty medicine
- Improved liver function, brighter and clearer skin due to better liver function.
- Reduced blood cholesterol levels
- Protection of eyesight, preventing presbyopia by improving blood flow to the eyes.
- The use of saffron in sunscreens, saffron with its antioxidant properties prevents premature aging.
Did you know that your health is at risk with the consumption of counterfeit saffron? How do I identify authentic saffron?
It is interesting to know that despite the high cost of saffron due to its nutritional value, the demand for spice is increasing in most countries around the world. As a result, like any lucrative business, many opportunists have entered the saffron market. Unfortunately, some opportunists produce counterfeit saffron and sell it at the price of real saffron without any regard for the consumer’s health.
Given the above fact, many consumers today are recognizing the features of genuine saffron in comparison with counterfeit saffron. So, read the following article to learn the characteristics of good saffron.
What are the characteristics of high-quality saffron?
To enjoy the benefits of saffron, one must be familiar with the appearance, taste, and color of authentic and counterfeit saffron. Today it is easy to detect the purity of saffron in labs, but this method is not cost-effective for the consumer.
It is interesting to know that in labs, the purity of saffron can be determined by examining its chemical composition. Authentic saffron is identified by examining crocetin components: crocin for color, picrocrocin for taste, and safranal for aroma.
Saffron flower components
To know the characteristics of good saffron, first, we must understand the physical structure of the saffron plant.
Saffron flowers include petals, stigma, stamen, leaves and a root (corm). It is necessary to know that each saffron thread consists of two parts: stigma (the red part) and style (the white part). The red stigma is used as saffron.
Types of original Iranian saffran
As you can see in the figure, each saffron thread has 4 main parts: sargol, negin, poshal and konj (style).
Sergol: is the head of the stigma which has three branches, without the style (yellow part).
Negin: includes the sargol and the portion where the stigma ceases to be multi-branched. It is interesting to know that negin saffron is stronger than sargol saffron in terms of appearance and color.
Poshal: includes the negin and the lower, yellow portion (style).
Complete bunch or thread (Dokhtarpich): The entire saffron thread containing the stigma with 4-5 cm of style.
How can we distinguish genuine saffron from counterfeit saffron?
In the following section we will introduce ways to assess the quality of saffron through its appearance, color, aroma, taste, weight, greasiness and packaging.
Pay attention to the appearance of individual saffron threads.
Remember the appearance of a saffron thread and the 4 main components because each part of saffron has a different quality and price.
Remember to pay attention to the trumpet-like shape of a saffron thread that is narrow at the end when purchasing saffron. Saffron could easily be sold with plants that have a similar shape and appearance such as safflowers, corn silk, synthetic fibers, dried beets, and coconut roots.
Photo caption: unlike the trumpet-like shape of saffron threads, corn silk is smooth and straight.
Be sure to taste a few strands of saffron.
Pure saffron is slightly bitter due to the presence of picrocrocin. Additionally, it could be somewhat strong or sharp, but it should never taste sweet.
If the saffron tastes sweet, the product has been diluted with honey or sugar to increase its weight for sale.
Smell the saffron.
Saffron has a sweet and pleasant aroma and the fresher it is, the stronger the smell. It is said that when smelling quality saffron you should smell real honey and alfalfa.
Identify authentic with a color test
The color of saffron is due to the presence of crocin and crocetin. By examining these components in laboratories, artificial colors and therefore counterfeit saffron can be identified.
The color of real saffron in water is yellow with an orange or red hue and transparent.
As a consumer, you can test saffron by performing the following tests.
1. Cold water experiment
Place a few strands of rodaguldet saffron in cold water. Remove the strands after a few minutes. Since this saffron is pure, you will see that the strand colors do not change.
Now try this experiment with a few saffron strands purchased from elsewhere. If the strand colors fade the product is not authentic.
2. Butane experiment
Pure saffron turns purple or orange when it encounters butane flames, counterfeit saffron turns yellow.
3. Baking soda solution experiment
Pure saffron turns yellow in a baking soda and water solution, counterfeit saffron turns a faded red.
4. Gasoline experiment
Pure saffron does not dissolve in gasoline and should not change color.
Test the purity of saffron with how it pulverizes
Authentic saffron pulverizes quickly between your fingers or paper. If you see oil stains, the product is a counterfeit.
Question cheap saffron
Real saffron is expensive. Note that the price of powdered saffron is usually lower than whole saffron.
Pay attention to the standard certifications listed on the packaging.
The certifications on saffron packaging attest to its chemical composition and purity. Therefore, ensure that all details regarding the saffron producer are specified on the packaging.
Do not sacrifice quality for price.
Recently, saffron has been produced in greenhouses to reduce costs. However, you should know that despite the cheaper price, the final product is not as good as quality, organic saffron cultivated using traditional methods.
It is interesting to know that organic rodaguldet saffron is of the utmost quality. Rodaguldet saffron has passed the previously noted tests as your health and well being are our priority.
If you need advice on buying saffron, contact us at.