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Pure Saffron parameter

Pure saffron and best quality saffron parameters (National Iranian tests and standards)

Based on national standards, the following items must not be found in Pure Saffron or high quality saffron:

-          Unwanted physical materials including string, gravel, and sand, live or dead insects and mites, fungi and mold that can be seen with the naked eye, and droppings of rodents and birds

-          Undesirable chemical materials that are measured based on the related standards and must be in the appropriate ranges

Considering factors of saffron quality, the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran has developed the following standards for saffron:

The National Standard 259-1 entitled Saffron and Its Characteristics (that includes determination of packaging characteristics, labeling, and sampling)

 

The National Standard 259-2entitled Saffron and Test Methods (concerning methods of testing saffron)

-          The quantity of styles accompanying stigmas

-          Moisture content

-          Total ash content and acid-insoluble ash percentage

-          Extract soluble in cold water

-          Foreign matter consisting of plants and materials from the environment

-          Extraction and identification of color additives (2634)

-          Measurement of picrocrocin content ( the agent imparting the bitter flavor to saffron)

-          Safranal ( the agent imparting fragrance to saffron)

-          Crocin ( the agent imparting color to saffron)

 

The National Standard 3659:The method of sampling saffron

 

The National Standard 2198:Searching for and recommendations concerning Enterococci

 

The National Standard 4806:The microbiological quality of the surfaces

 

The National standards 4557:Instructions related to use of risk analysis system and critical control points

 

The National Standard (10899-2):Measuring the amounts of mold and yeast (per gram)

 

The National standard 9432: The comprehensive method of counting sulfate-reducing bacteria under anaerobic conditions

 

In addition to satisfying national Standards, saffron destined for export to foreign markets must be in accordance with international Standards.

 

Standard saffron characteristics

Sensory and physical characteristics

Flavor and fragrance:Pure Saffron must have its distinctive fragrance and flavor, have a somewhat bitter and pungent taste, and be free from any other flavor and scent

Appearance: Various types of saffron must have uniform color (as much as possible) and saffron threads must not be stuck to each other due to high moisture content or unsuitable drying.

 

Microbial characteristics

Microbial characteristics, which are determined based on the following table, must be in accordance with national Standards

Row number

Tested microbial characteristics of saffron

Test results

Acceptable levels

Test method

1

Enterococci

Negative

Negative

Standard 2198

2

Escherichia coli

Negative

Negative

Standard 2946

3

Spores of sulfate-reducing Clostridium

Fewer than 10

100

Standard 9432

4

Mold ( per gram)

10

1000

Standard 10899-2

 

Metal pollutants

The permissible limits are listed in the following table

 

Metal pollutants in saffron

Name of pollutant

Maximum acceptable level(mg/kg)

Arsenic (AS)

3

Lead ( Pb)

10

Mercury ( Hg0

2

Total heavy metals

40

 

Pure saffron and best quality saffronChemical characteristics

These and other characteristics of saffron threads and cut saffron threads must be in accordance with the following table

 

Row

Number

Tested chemical characteristics of saffron

Grading in Iran

Test method

Cut threads

Threads

Premium

1

2

3

4

1

Styles accompanying stigmas

Maximum weight percent

0.5

5

10

20

30

National Standard 2-259

2

Foreign matter( weight percent), foreign matter of plant origin ( maximum)

0.1

1

1

2

2

National Standard 2-259

3

Moisture and volatile materials ( weight percent), maximum

10

10

12

12

12

National Standard2-259

4

Total ash( weight percent) based on dry matter, maximum

50.5

6

7

7

7

National Standard 1197

5

Acid-insoluble ash(weight percent)based on dry matter, maximum

0.5

1

1.5

1.5

1.5

National Standard 1253

6

Extract soluble in cold water based on dry matter ( weight percent), maximum

65

65

55

65

65

National Standard 1619

7

Picrocrocin( maximum absorption at wavelength of 257 nm) based on dry matter, minimum

85

80

70

70

7-

National Standard2-259

8

Safranal( maximum absorption at the wavelength of 440 nm) based on dry matter, minimum

50-20

50-20

50-20

50-20

50-20

National Standard2-259

9

Crocin (maximum absorption at the wavelength of 440 nm) based on dry matter, minimum

220

220

180

150

140

National standard 2-259

10

Extraction and identification of color additives

Negative

Negative

Negative

Negative

Negative

National Standard 2-259

11

Total nitrogen ( weight percent) based on dry matter, maximum

3

3

3

3

3

National Standard 1522

12

Raw fiber (weight percent) based on dry matter, maximum

6

6

6

6

6

National standard 3394

13

Searching for and determining saffron pigments

6

6

6

6

6

National Standard 2-259

14

Labeling

Suitable

Suitable

Suitable

Suitable

Suitable

 

 

pure Saffron or best quality Saffron parameter.

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