saffron (Kesar) is a spice or herb that drives from crocus sativus flower. Iranian people name it “zaferan” and it’s the most expensive spice in the world and usually use in gram level.
the most important reasons for the popularity of this spice are its Aroma, taste and medicinal properties and it is useful for Depression, Sexual disorder and Stress oxidative too.
Today saffron is planting more than 30 countries but the biggest part of it producing is in Iran So that have 90 percent of producing share. Saffron planting process start at summer and The best growing condition occur in the hot and dry area.
The farmers plants saffron bulbs in the soil at the summer. soil Irrigation done at 4 time and in fall and winter. Low water requirement is the first reason of planting saffron at the Hot and dry areas.
Second reason of cultivation in the Hot and dry areas is the sensitive of that to the humidity in summer. High Humidity and hot in the summer can disturb the bulbs or at least reduce the efficiency of farms.
Harvesting products usually done at the middle of fall and for 2 weeks. In this time workers should be present on farm at early morning. the flowers are coming up at 6 and farmer just have a few hours for harvesting them.
If flowers didn’t harvest in half day the process of reducing quality of flower start. So the golden time of saffron harvesting in everyday is half of day. The second half a day is belong to cleaning and drying stigmas.
Every worker can harvest 2 to 5 kg saffron flowers in a day and we need another people for cleaning 5 kg flowers. So for harvesting and cleaning 5 kg flowers we need 2 people. Every 100 kg saffron flowers yield 1 kg saffron.
analysis sheet and Nutrition Facts
if analyze some Saffron strings you will understand about quality factor of saffron. The main factors for measuring the quality of saffron are as follows:
- Crocine: this agent is the main Coloring factor of saffron and its the source of Saffron grading. when we say supernegin is better than negin we are referring to Crocine rate value. in the below analyze the rate of crocine is 281. (the highest Crocine rate that I see ever was 320)
- safranal: Safranal is one of the antioxidant agent in the this herb and its the main factor of The fragrance of saffron. in the below analyze the rate of safranal is 29.
- Picrocrocin: Picrocrocin is responsible of its bitter taste. in the below analyze the rate of picrocrocin is 91.
- sugar, water, amino acid, protein and some vitamins are another Ingredient.
nutritional information table
this table is shown some of macro Compounds per 100g(1). the main component that cause it benefits are micronutrient that Not to mentioned in this table.
Some people may think that saffron is just a spice, but researchers and experts believe that it is more than be a spice is a medicinal plant. This Claim is based on the research and experimental observations. also we have debate on saffron side effects on a separate article.
Some of its benefits are:
- Antioxidant activity
- Reduce PMS symptoms
- improve heart function
- help to weight loss
- improve structure of hair
- prevent and improve depression
And more a bout saffron benefits…
In the saffron farms produce one type of flowers and one types saffron stigma and the types of saffron is Created in the cleaning and drying saffron stigmas. In other word how to clean and drying stigma, is the determining its type.
The Difference of types is back to Crocin rate and Appearance feature of that.
Some of saffron types that produce in the farms are:
saffron trade is a simple map of export raw type from Iran to 5 main exporting hub. its process and export again to more than 100 country demander. this is the story of more than 90 % of world saffron produced.
maybe you see the statistics that show the Spain is one of the biggest importer and exporter of saffron and this is while saffron producing in Spain is Not a significant amount. this Mystery have The obvious answer and that is Iran.
Iranian farmers sell their Products to the Saffron brokers with low price. this small saffron brokers sell it to the big brokers in the 5 country and to be continued. China, Spain, Emirates, Hong Kong and India are the five big broker of Iranian saffron and naturally determine saffron price in the world.
this is a simple map of saffron trade from oec world. It is necessary to keep in mind that these statistics are not real enough.
how to use saffron
if you search for buy saffron you will see some products that all of them names are saffron. saffron stigma can be processed to saffron extract, powder, spray, Creams and health products and other possible thing.
follow this method:
- grind Saffron strings with a Mortar
- add some water to powder and let it to boil
- Brewing should belong for 30 minutes
- your final extract is ready
- you can add this extract to whatever you want such as saffron milk, saffron tea
before that 2012 imagined the origin of agriculture and saffron planting has been in In the Mesopotamian region at 7000 to 9000 years B.C but But Iran and Germany University joint archaeological research shown agriculture origin was 12000 years B.C and in Iran.
this is not important where is the real origin of this spice. today Iran is the biggest producer in the world and now Iranian farmers plant and develop saffron and send to more than 100 countries. this is the only important thing that we have to think.
This sheet says: Water the field once every ten days And do not water too much. the seeds should be under the soil for 7 years. in other mean we plant seeds in the soil for 1 time and harvest its product for 7 years.
some of common questions
how many saffron threads in a gram?
100 kg flower = 1 kg saffron and 1 gr saffron = 100 to 150 threads
how much saffron to use?
the best usage dose for saffron is 0.1g per day (10 to 15 saffron threads). Recommended do not use saffron more than 3g per a day.
how many flowers is need to make a gram?
the farmer in order to make a gram super negin should harvest 100 gram saffron flower and for other type of saffron should harvest 60 to 80 gram of its flower.
what saffron taste like?
the Original saffron is bitter. sometime we see saffron is Sweet and this mean is, saffron is not original. try to learn how to Recognize the original saffron.
What is the shape of saffron seeds?
the seeds are like a Garlic. look at the below picture. you see in this picture the big size seed that are ready to plant in the soil.
what color is it?
the color of its original one is Crimson or dark red.
not of writer: this spice is the a symbol of peace and happiness for all people of world. for example when Iranian people give saffron as a gift to their relatives means the high value of the The person in front.