How to Identify Pure Saffron?
3 mins read

How to Identify Pure Saffron?

Saffron also known as “Kesar” is one of the most expensive and exotic spices in your kitchen. It is used across the world for its unique fragrance and culinary taste. Saffron adds a distinct flavor and color to your dish, but you must buy a pure one to relish its goodness.

Saffron plants are very delicate and bloom for only one week in a yearReal saffron is the Stigma of the Autumn Crocus flower, commonly known as Saffron Crocus. These flowers are purple-colored with a red stigma. Each bulb produces one flower, and each flower has only three stigmas. Saffron cultivation is a laborious and time-consuming activity which makes it very expensive. It takes about 1000 flowers to produce 1 ounce/28.3 gms of saffron.

Iran, India, Spain, and Greece are the major saffron-producing countries in the world. Iran is the largest producer contributing nearly 88% of the world’s production followed by India, which contributes about 7% of the world’s production. In India, saffron is mostly produced in Jammu & Kashmir.

It is very challenging to check the genuineness of this expensive Kitchen ingredient. Few sellers adulterate it to maximize their profit margins by spraying water mist to increase the weight. Others add corn silk and spray it with coloring chemicals. Fillers like corn starch, sawdust, are also added. The fake versions can cause health hazards rather than providing the health benefits for which it is consumed.

Therefore, you need to be sure that you are not buying phony Saffron. Here are a few ways to differentiate genuine Saffron from fake one:

    • Authentic Saffron tastes bitter. If it tastes sweet, it is fake.
    • The saffron strands should be dry. Moist strands are an indication of adulterated saffron.
    • High-quality saffron should be deep red. Sometimes, you might find a slightly yellow color at the base. The color should be eye-popping, and the strands should be uniformly long.
    • The aroma of Saffron can help to test its purity. If you know the fragrance of real saffron, you can easily differentiate it from a false one. Saffron has a pretty appealing fragrance, a combination of Hay and Honey (slightly sweet).  Authentic Saffron should smell sweet but never taste sweet.
    • When you remove the saffron strands from the water after boiling, their natural color should remain intact. If the color of the strand appears dull or white, it is phony.
    • Put some Saffron strands in a bowl and pour some cold water into it. If the saffron is pure, it will slowly release the golden hue color. On the other hand, a fake one will release color immediately.
    • If you rub soaked saffron strands between your fingers, they should not break apart. If they do, they could be adulterated.
    • Dissolve some baking soda into water and leave some saffron strands in it. Pure saffron will turn the water yellow, whereas a fake one will turn it pale crimson.
    • Grounded saffron is more prone to adulteration using fillers like rice flour, starch, etc. It’s best if you can avoid buying a grounded one.

Storing Saffron:

  • Store saffron in a dark and cool place.
  • Always keep it in a glass container. Don’t use a zip pouch/plastic bag.

20 thoughts on “How to Identify Pure Saffron?

  1. केसर के परीक्षण की विधि के बहुत सुंदर एवम प्रमाणिक तरीके बताए है ,निश्चित ये बहुत उपयोगी हैं और सरल है । में व्यतिगत रूप से बहुत प्रभावित हुआ हूं ।धन्यवाद ।

  2. Very useful information about kesar. Always have doubt in mind that wheather i am getting pure or not. And good thing about your test, all of them are easily available materials and procidures. Thanks Ruchi for sharing it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *