There are many ways of distinguishing pure saffron from fake saffron:
The easiest method of telling pure from fake saffron is that the upper part of stigmas in pure saffron is horn-shaped and the stigma becomes increasingly thinner in the lower parts. Of course, if saffron is in the powdered form, only laboratory equipment can determine whether it is pure or fake.
Some threads of pure saffron are put in a glass of boiling water. If they become white after about 5 minutes, the saffron is not pure.
The color, fragrance, and flavor of saffron are a definitive criterion of its purity. The flavor of pure saffron is a little bitter but pleasant, and its smell a little pungent. However, if its flavor is sweet or sour, salt or sugar has been added to it, and it is fake saffron.
Method 4: Attention to the appearance of saffron and recognition of its brightness/ dullness is another method. If the stigmas are very bright, there is good cause to suspect its purity.
The most important properties of the best Pure saffron quality are as follows:
1. Saffron containing saffron fines is of low quality.
2. Flavor is another very important feature of saffron. You should taste the saffron and test its flavor. This is a very important criterion in recognizing pure and high quality saffron.
3. The shape of the threads is another important feature of high quality saffron. High quality saffron has thicker threads that are horn-shaped, while short, thin, twisted, and wrinkled threads are of lower quality.