The quality of saffron
 
 
Saffron is valued for its fragrance as a spice, its colour as a dye and - medicinally - for its ability to mitigate disease.

In many tests in the laboratory and clinic, it makes tissues resilient against disease.

How is the quality of saffron assessed?

Fragrance and colour are readily assessed by our senses of smell and sight but there is an internationally accepted standard of the overall quality of saffron.

The International Standards Organisation (http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html, Geneva) has set out the testing of saffron quality in two detailed documents (ISO 3632-1 and -2). These set out a test for the content of three biologically active molecules in saffron - picrocrocin, safranal and crocin. Using UV spectrometry, the test measures the concentrations of these three molecules in a standard aqueous extraction.

The highest quality saffron is designated Category 1 by the ISO.

Category 2 is still good quality, but Category 1 is the highest quality

CSCM Pty Ltd uses Category 1 saffron exclusively

Further, we maintain the saffron in steady, cool (8-10°C) conditions, so that quality is maintained optimally.

Overall, saffron is robust in quality. Our policy is to buy the highest quality available, and maintain it as carefully as possible.