Diamond Saffron
Most Precious & Expensive Spice in the World, Saffron is a natural herb. The Saffron filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, "Crocus Sativus Linneaus". Each flower contains only three stigmas. These threads must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of Saffron filaments, making it the world's most precious spice. Saffron is used both for its bright orange-yellow color and for its intense flavour and aroma.

Saffron being a natural herb, all its benefits and contents cannot be fully quantified chemically and as everybody knows that statistics can be made to prove anything.

Saffron is grown in the world, with its production in the hands of small individual farmers and not in the hand cooperatives or large corporations and traditional methods of quality control are the only form of checking the quality and originality of the Saffron. Chemical analysis at time of each purchase is hardly practical. We must remember that saffron is a herb and not merely a chemical concentrate.

Sensory quality
Very intensively fragrant (reminiscent to iodoform, but much more pleasant), slightly bitter in taste. By soaking saffron in warm water, one gets a bright yellow-orange solution

Chemical Constituents of Saffron
The intensive colour of saffron is caused by pigments of carotenoid type. Although saffron contains some conventional carotenoids (a- and B-carotene, lycopin and zeaxanthin), its staining capability is mostly caused by crocetine esters; crocetin is a dicarboxylic acid with a carotenoid-like C18 backbone which is formed from carotenoid precursors ("diterpene carotenoid"). Crocin, a diester of crocin with gentobiose, is the single most important saffron pigment.

In the essential oil (max. 1%), several terpene aldehyde s and ketones are found. The most abundant constituent is safranal, 2,6,6-trimethyl 1,3-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxaldehyde (50% and more); another olfactorily important compound is 2-hydroxy-4,4,6-trimethyl 2,5-cyclohexadien-1-one. Furthermore, terpene derivatives have been identified (pinene, cineol).

The bitter taste is attributed to picrocrocin, the glucoside of an alcohol structurally related to safranal (4-hydroxy-2,4,4-trimethyl 1-cyclohexene-1-carboxaldehyde ). On de-glucosylation, picrocrocin yields safranal.