Iranian Saffron


Saffron, the golden treasure derived from the delicate stigma of the Crocus sativus flower, has captivated civilizations for centuries with its mesmerizing aroma, vibrant hue, and unparalleled flavor profile. As one of the world’s most precious spices, saffron holds not only culinary significance but also cultural and economic value. In this article, we delve into the multifaceted realm of saffron, examining its origins, benefits, and the dynamics of its thriving export markets.

Iranian Saffron

Saffron’s illustrious history traces back to ancient times, where it was revered by civilizations across the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Asia. Originating in regions such as Persia (modern-day Iran), saffron became an integral component of cuisines, rituals, and traditional medicines. Iranian saffron is association with royalty and luxury earned it the title of “red gold,” signifying its exceptional worth and allure.

persian saffron

Saffron’s Health Benefits

Beyond its culinary allure, saffron boasts a plethora of health benefits. Rich in antioxidants and compounds such as crocin and safranal, saffron exhibits anti-inflammatory, mood-enhancing, and potential anticancer properties. In traditional medicine, saffron has been utilized to alleviate depression, enhance cognitive function, and promote overall well-being.

Cultivation and Harvesting

The cultivation of saffron demands meticulous care and attention to detail. Thriving in climates with dry summers and mild winters, the saffron crocus requires well-drained soil and ample sunlight. Each autumn, the flowers bloom for a fleeting period, revealing their crimson stigmas, which are painstakingly hand-harvested by skilled workers. This labor-intensive process contributes to saffron’s esteemed status and premium price tag.

Types of saffron

Saffron can be classified into different types and in both physical and form. In physical classification, saffron is classified based on form and shape, but the form is focused on the quality of saffron. In different countries, the standard of saffron classification is different. In Spain, saffron is graded according to the criteria of the cultivation area and in the second category according to the length or thickness of the stigma and cream. Also, in India, saffron is classified based on the purity and quality of stigma or the presence of stigma and cream (yellow part), and in England based on characteristics such as color, aroma and taste.


1- Bunch Saffron

The saffron is a complete strand that has the red and yellow parts of saffron together. In such a way that the yellow part is about 30% and the red part is about 70%. In this type of classification, the saffron is intact and the stigmas of the three saffron branches are not separated from the white part of the saffron (or the saffron cream). The arrangement of this model is done as one-way and two-way. In the one-way arrangement, the creams are placed on top of each other and the stigmas are placed on top of each other, but in the two-way arrangement, the stigmas are placed on both sides and the creams are placed in between.

2- Pushal saffron

In Poshal saffron, the saffron cream (white part) is separated from under the flower, so that the stigmas will have 1-3 mm of cream. At the end of the stigmas of the three branches of saffron, some yellowness or whiteness can be seen, which gives it a chaff-like shape; For this reason, saffron is called Pushal. Pushal saffron is divided into two types of pushal and normal pushal. This saffron model is graded from 1 to 3 based on the coarseness of the stigma and the amount of cream attached to it. Pushal saffron that has thick and smooth stigmas, without wrinkles and has less cream (root) is called pendarian pushal, and pushal saffron that has normal and wrinkled stigmas with more cream is called normal pushal.

3-Sargol saffron

Considering that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, Sargol is the most widely used and common type of saffron for people’s use, and consumers are more familiar with this type of saffron. Sargol saffron has different grades such as premium, top quality, and top quality; out side of iran, it is called AII-Red.In Sargol saffron, which is a pure saffron, the cream or the white part of saffron is completely removed and only the red part remains; That is why it is called all red. The grading and price of Sargol saffron varies depending on the thickness of the stigmas, whether they are fine or coarse, and the presence or absence of broken stigmas.

Determining the quality of Sergol is a difficult task. The quality of saffron is measured by two indicators: ‘stigma length’ and ‘the presence or absence of white pieces of the root that are mixed with the load and have taken on a red color’ and are graded from 1 to 3.

4- Negin saffron

This type of saffron has a wonderful coloring and appearance, and is very fragrant. In this type of saffron, three strands of stigmas are connected to each other and are smooth and unbroken (unlike Sargol saffron, where the stigmas have fractures). This has caused this type of saffron to have a better appearance and a higher price than Sargol saffron, but people prefer to buy Sargol saffron, which has the same color and aroma as Nagin saffron, on the other hand, it has a lower price. Foreign customers are more inclined to buy negin saffron. Negin saffron itself is divided into two types of super-negin and semi-negin. In general, you should know that saffron is known as the red gold of Iran.

5- white saffron Konj

Technically there is no saffron in the konj type. After the sargol is separated from the bunch, the root or white part, which is called konj or white saffron in Iran, remains; This part is known as cream or style in Europe. The general public believes that the root part of saffron has more fragrance, but scientific investigations and analyzes show that the red part of saffron has more valuable substances. One of these substances is crocin, which moves inside the saffron plant from the red stigma part to the white root part, and because the cream part of saffron has more moisture, it causes more aroma from the saffron root to be smelled. Saffron root does not contain crocin (responsible for saffron coloring), but it has the properties of red saffron.

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