Saffron

Introduction

Caprina LLC is one of the most prominent exporters of saffron and pistachio from Iran.

Throughout the year, this business is trying to provide all products needed by its customers, including importers, wholesalers, chain stores, and domestic and international food factories.

Iran Saffron

Ninety-five percent of the world’s saffron comes from Iran.

It has traditionally been grown in Khorasan, an area (about the size of England) in the north-east of Iran with ideal soil and climate conditions for the crop.

Saffron is a valuable spice with origins in Zagros Mountains area in “Mede” era. Saffron which takes a lot of labor to produce, is actually a very small part of the plant Crocus Sativus Lineas and everything about it is really interesting.

Every day during the one-month harvest season that starts around mid-October more than four hundred thousand people in southern Khorasan get up before dawn to go to the fields and pick the beautiful delicate lilac flowers that have bloomed overnight.

They must be picked before being exposed to too much sunshine. The flowers are then carried in wicker baskets to the processing areas where the stigmas are patiently removed by hand.

The next step is to gently toast the stigmas in order to dry them before they are tested, sorted, packed and sealed, insuring that the full, unique and exquisite flavor, aroma and color of this “vegetable gold” reaches the consumer.

History

SAFFRON is the world’s most valuable spice because of its unique properties and because of all the labor that goes into producing it (more than 170000 flowers make just one kilogram) and Its name given to the three dried red colored stigmas and part of the white style to which they are attached of crocus sativus Linnaeus, which flowers just once a year.

The main characteristics of saffron are:

PICROCROCINE (BITTERNESS),

SAFRANAL (FLAVOR),

CROCINE (COLOR).

Saffron is the dried stigma (red part of the pistil) of Crocus Sativus Linnaeus.

The chemical formula of Saffron reads as C20H24O4 (Crocetin) -C44H64O24 (Crocin) and the extended formula is as follows:

The areas that are cultivated in the world are saffron

SAFFRON AND HEALTH

Saffron the flower of Health

Since ancient times physicians and chemists have been impressed by the quality and properties of saffron and their beliefs have been confirmed by modern science.

Saffron is used in various medicines and has traditionally been believed to give one a clear complexion, a sense of well-being and exhilaration, and to increase potency.

Scientific studies have confirmed many properties of this amazing medicinal herb, including its anti-carcinogenic effect, anti-cancer, anti-depression, booster of intelligence, and its effect on the body’s resistance to diseases.

SAFFRON IN KITCHEN

Saffron is used for its unique flavor, color and aroma in meat, chicken and seafood dishes and in traditional dishes.

It is sufficient to add 100-125 milligrams of saffron to a meal prepared for three to four persons. It is therefore not costly at all to obtain a most desirable flavor, color and aroma in food.

Method of consumption:

1- The contents of the pack have to be poured into a glass or porcelain container. It has to be grinned to turn to a soft powder. To prepare meal for four people a teaspoonful of the powder has to be mixed in half a cup of warm water (about 50 ml).

In order to extract the maximum out of its effective elements, the container has to be closed and left in a warm place for 15–20 minutes. Then the saffron liquid could be added to the food.

2- First Fully grind saffron and dissolve the required amount in some ice cubes one hour before using it .

Nutritional value:

Saffron has a variant chemical structure.

It consists of:

carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, proteins and antioxidants.

Saffron is a good source of riboflavin. 140 mg of saffron is as effective as 40 mg of synthesized riboflavin.

Color of Saffron

Saffron’s coloring power is mainly produced by crocin (chemical composition: C44 H64 O24), which is one of the few naturally occurring carotenoids easily soluble in water.

This water solubility is one of the reasons

for its widely preferred application as a

colorant in food and medicine.

Grade of Saffron

Top grade saffron possesses a deep red color, is dry to the touch and the stigmas will be 3/8” to 1/2” in length.

Saffron is graded by the International Standard Organization (I.S.O.). Saffron is graded via laboratory measurement for

color (crocin),

flavor (picrocrocin)

and aroma (safranal) content.

The highest amount of saffron distribution is in the following countries.

Grades and Types of Saffron

Grade of Saffron

1. Negin

Although Persian Sargol is considered as the premium saffron, there is another variation of Sargol Saffron. If three stigma threads are attached together and form a cluster, this type of saffron is called Negin. Since production of Negin saffron is an extremely delicate and precise manual skill, it is the most expensive type of saffron and very limited to offer. The ISO reading of Negin is usually more than 270.

2. Sargol (All Red)

This grade consists of ONLY dark red stigma tips and has the highest quality compared to the other types. Sargol saffron is the pure saffron with no broken stand and has the ISO reading of 260-270. Due to accumulation of saffron`s active components in stimas, Persian Sargol has a very strong arom and rich coloring capacity.

3. Pushal (Mancha)

Pushal saffron is the stigma part of the plant attached to a 1-3 mm style end. According to ISO 3632 system, this type falls into grade II category that has a color reading of up to 250. Although Pushal does not have Sargol`s pure texture and premium quality, but some consumers prefer to purchase Iranian Pushal to be assured of saffron validity and authenticity.

4. Khooshe (Bunch)

This grade is relatively low strength grade (ISO reading is 70 to 75) and consists of red stigmata plus large amount of yellow style, presented in a tiny bundle.

5. KONJ (KONGE)

This grade consists of only yellow-white styles and has a very little aroma and coloring potential.

Saffron Powder

Although Saffron powder is not a grade of Saffron, it is prepared by fine grinding of Sargol, Pushal and Bunch parts of the plant. This product has a slightly lighter color compared to Sargol and Pushal and its coloring capacity is obviously less.

The manufacturing process is done by superior technology to avoid loss of Persian saffron`s quality. Saffron powder can be easily mixed with other ingredients such as artificial dye and turmeric, so it has always to be obtained from trusted source.

The largest exporters and importers of saffron in the world

The share of world countries in the import of saffron

The share of world countries in the export of saffron

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