To test the quality of saffron you have to take into account three parameters: colour, taste and fragrance content.
The colouring power derives from the content of crocin, a reddish organic pigment.
The bittering power is given by pirocrocin, a glucoside whose level tends to decrease in the product over time and depending on the state of preservation, turning into glucose and safranal. When the threads are fresh, they are odorless: the scent develops during the drying process.
The odorous power is given by the safranal, a volatile essential oil that tends to decay over time.
To keep your saffron at its best, it is very important to store it in the right way: you should keep it in airtight containers, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
The International Standardization Organization, with the ISO 3632: 2003 standard, has established a classification system for saffron (valid both for powder and threads): according to this standard, saffron can be divided into three product classes, depending on the strength of his powers.
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Born in Romagna, now living in Piacenza. I am the owner and co-founder with my husband of Zafferano Emiliano. Follow our site to get the latest news about our Saffron cultivation – and some recipes as well!