Scientific Facts of Saffron
Saffron’s Scientific Name: Crocus Sativus Linnaeus
Thecorm of saffron isa perennial, stem less, plant that just has a few years lifespan. From every corm in fall, 1 or 2 flowers is grown (rarely more than 2). These purple-colored flowers contain only 3 red-colored stigmas that are very precious.
The chemical constituents found in the stigmas of saffron are color pigments such as zeaxanthin, lycopene, beta carotene, alpha carotene and crocin, vitamins such as thiamine and riboflavin, picrocrocin, safranal, mucilage, minerals and carbohydrates.
Saffron also has anthocyanin pigments and free aglyconecrocin. Crocin, an unusual car
otenoid that is found in nature is by far the most dominant chemical in saffron’s coloring property. It can easily be dissolved in water,
Picrocrocin is a glucose that is responsible for saffron’s bitter taste. In order to produce safranal, this glucose undergoes crystallization through a process known as acid hydrolysis.
Safranal is the major aromatic substance, making up 60% of the composition of saffron’s unstable components. It is a gelatinous liquid that produces a bright yellow blemish when exposed to steam. It can also be dissolved in petroleum, ether, methanol and ethanol.