We will teach you that quickly identify original saffron and get acquainted with various cheating methods in saffron. Saffron is expensive, and this is natural that some people want to commit fraud in it. We have to be well acquainted with the cheating methods and learn how to identify the original saffron.

The main target of cheating in saffron is increasing its weight, and there is two primary way for this target. It uses everything similar to saffron threads or uses high-density liquids to increase saffron’s weight. In the following, we will deal with some cheating methods in saffron.

identify original saffron

How to Identify Original Saffron?

1. Tasting Saffron

The first method for identifying original saffron is tasting saffron, the taste of saffron is more bitter, and it should not be sweet or tart. Sometimes we use saffron and sense a sweet taste in it, and this is due to the addition of sweet substances to increase the weight of saffron.

Some saffron sellers add some spray sugar or honey to the saffron to increase saffron weight and earn some more money. So, you can, before buying, put a few small strands of saffron in your mouth and make sure it is authentic.

2. The Shape of Saffron Threads

Saffron threads have special shapes and sometimes we can use this factor to identify original saffron. The fresh and original saffron strands are trumpet shape, if you look at the end of each saffron stigma, you can see trumpet shape form of them.

saffron threads

3. The Color of Saffron threads

The third factor of original saffron is saffron color. The color of the original saffron is actually dark red or crimson, and if it has light red or other colors, it is likely to be non-original.

4. Replacement with Plants Similar to Saffron

We know saffron is more expensive in comparison to other plants and spices, so, if someone adds some of a similar plant to the saffron, it will probably make a lot of money. But this income will not continue and its business will be destroyed soon.

One of these plants that are similar to saffron is the safflower plant. Safflower is not a harmful plant for us, but this is not saffron and if someone adds it to saffron, This would be a big and very bad fraud.

Of course, there is no need to worry, you can identify pure saffron by knowing the safflower plant, and this is not so hard, just search and look at some of its images.


5. Special Aroma of Saffron

The fresh and original saffron has a pungent aroma and if you open the saffron package, the aroma of saffron will spread quickly. So, one of the methods that you can identify original saffron is by smelling the saffron aroma.

It is necessary to mention this, the saffron aroma is not in a way that it can not be inhaled from behind the package and even in the packaging you can smell the saffron’s aroma.

6. Coloring Speed

Saffron is a real spice and it is not similar to other processed tea, so it doesn’t can make color in 2 minutes. Saffron is the main part of a healthy lifestyle that originates from nature and nature is not fast.

Original saffron needs 10 to 15 minutes at least to brew and if it is faster than this, probably it has some impurity.

identify original saffron

7. The Fat of the Strands

The original saffron threads are dry and don’t have any fat on their ingredients. If you look at the saffron ingredient list, you will know saffron fats is very low and almost zero, so the presence of fat on the saffron threads can be a sign of fraud.

There is a simple test for identifying this type of fraud on saffron, take a piece of paper and put a few strands of saffron next to it, then press and rub saffron using paper. If the saffron strands are impregnated with fat, the fat trace will remain on the paper.

identify original saffron

identify original saffron

As you can see in the image, the saffron threads were crushed by pressure, but no trace of fat was observed.

What is Fake saffron Made of?

There are lots of ways that profiteers can use to make fake saffron, in another word, everything that is similar to saffron threads has the potential for fraud. Some of these strands that are used for fraud are as follows:

  • Dried beef noodles
  • Safflower plant
  • Dyed saffron root
  • Turmeric
  • Corn string
  • Wheat root
  • Marigold

Also, fraudulent people use some of the high-density liquids for increasing saffron weight, some of these substances are as follows:

  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Coloring agent


We have shared some of identifying original saffron methods with you and ignored some of them to prevent the increase in fraud in the saffron market.

These methods, along with the methods of recognizing different types of saffron, help you to experience a good purchase and in more than 90% of cases, you can buy high-quality saffron.

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