Following part 1 - theory and part 2, I showed you how to identify each type of saffron very clearly with a visual example using real saffron fibers. Here is a picture of part 2 I uploaded for anyone who wants to see it more closely!

The clip illustrates the Sales and Marketing Director of Saffron Palace filmed at Saffron Palace EcoFarm green farm.

In this part 3, I will talk more about ISO standards in determining quality and classifying saffron in the laboratory.

In addition to identifying saffron types with the naked eye, in order to be recognized as the correct grade Negin or Super Negin, one must definitely rely on a more scientific and orthodox testing method, which is the method of saving at the Lab. (laboratory) is registered with the authorities and has an operating license issued by the State.

Also known as "red gold" and famous in cuisine, saffron is undoubtedly the most expensive spice in the world. But, as an object of lust it can also be a victim of fraud. Low-quality saffron is often traded in the international market, and the specifications for pure saffron are not always respected. So what is the merit of the name saffron?

Dr. A. Jayathilak, Chair of ISO/TC 34/SC 7 Subcommittee, Spices, Culinary Herbs and Spices, explains: "Saffron is mainly grown in a different range of soil, from the Mediterranean Hai in the west to Kashmir in the east, it is a unique crop because each pistil needs to be harvested by hand, no industrial method can be applied in the harvesting of saffron. Its high value has made saffron frequently the subject of poor quality counterfeiting".

Standards to help detect fraud

However, several ISO standards can help combat this fraud and help identify quality saffron producers. Saffron is considered pure when it complies with the requirements of ISO 3632 and when no foreign matter has been added to the natural product.

Two parts of the standard, ISO 3632-1:2011 and ISO 3632-2:2010, specify test methods for different types of dried saffron including powder, yarn and cut yarn.

These criteria are very useful for analyzing the strength of taste, aroma and color of saffron, when these parameters are not met saffron has no culinary value and is worthless. In addition, they also help laboratories to detect whether saffron is pure, there are foreign substances detected in the product.

Fraud occurs more often with powdered saffron when other less valuable spices can be added to increase volume. Not drying saffron properly is another way to push up the price, as of course the more humid the saffron, the heavier it is so the ISO standard also helps in determining the moisture level. In addition, it recommends how saffron should be packaged to protect it from environmental impacts.

Saffron is tested through laboratories to help protect consumers from counterfeiting and poor quality products.

“There are many safron fraud techniques. This has been and is a longstanding problem for consumers. The difference in quality between saffron from different places and the subsequent price fluctuations has caused a lot of confusion,” explains Dr. A. Jayathilak.

👉 Facts and figures:
✔️ Saffron can reach around 30 000 euros/kg
✔️ About 250,000 flowers are needed for 1 kg of saffron
✔️ About 5,000kg of fresh flowers is the yield for each hectare
✔️ 1 stigma of 1 saffron flower is about 2 mg and each flower has 3 stigmas.
✔️ Iran is the world's largest saffron producer with 109 tons in 2011

[Source: https://www.iso.org/news/2014/02/Ref1819.html ]

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