best saffron producing country
Written by Vahid Epagloo, Food Consultant Updated:

There different countries in the world, which grow and produce saffron. The quality of this expensive spice is affected by the cultivation conditions and the method of growing, that means there are various qualities of saffron all around the world. The question is which country produces the best one? In this article, Queen of Flowers answers this question and explains about it.

Saffron producers

The first saffron farms belong to Iran. Actually, no one knew when and where the first Crocus Sarivus saffron flower has been seen, but it is said that this spice is as old as time. There are many stories about how the bulbs of saffron send to other countries.

The saffron flower could grow in Asia, but today, there are especial countries in Asia who produce saffron. Iran, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the main saffron producers in Asia.

The stories said that Arabs trade the saffron bulbs to the Europe. Nowadays Italia, Greece and Spain are the great saffron producers in Europe.

There are also other countries that try to produce saffron, they may have some success too, but their products are not enough to export or even the use of their country.

The largest Producer

The most saffron is produced in Asia. Almost 85 percent of the world using saffron is produced in Iran. The second famous and largest producer of saffron is Spain.

We can say that the amount and condition of cultivation of saffron in Iran will set its price every year. For example, this year due to rain and cold weather, the amount of saffron decreases, this decrease cause an improvement in the saffron price. In other world the largest producer, with the best quality of a product can set the price.

There are other producers of saffron who export their products, but the percentage of their export is less than Iranian and Spanish saffron.

Unfortunately, most of the saffron industries are in other countries, Iran should export this expensive spice to process the great saffron products.

Types of saffron

If you use saffron in your recipes or in your daily diet, you should know that there are different types of saffron. In European saffron, the only product that has types is Spanish saffron, while all Asian saffron products have types. These types of saffron are called Sargol, Negin, Super Negin, Pushal, Daste (Bunch), Powder and Root. The quality, shape, aroma, color and price of saffron are different in these types of saffron.

The qualities of these types are different, all over the world the Sargol is introduced as the saffron with the best quality. The second place belongs to Super Negin. Super Negin and Negin are more common in the shops and trading centers.

Sargol is the top centimetre of the stigmas of Sativus flower, separating and processing this part cost a lot and the other parts of stigmas could sell as powder, which has fewer prices. Due to these points, saffron producers do not process Sargol, they prefer to process and sell Negin and Super Negin. These two types are the red part of the stigmas. In processing these types, the only left part is the root; it means that processing these types is more profitable.

The best quality

The quality of saffron tests in the approved international labs. That means you can recognize good quality but you cannot understand the differences between superior quality and high quality.

There are especial experiments that need to do in labs. They measure the amount of Crocin, Crocetin, Safranal and Kaemferal in saffron threads. These four ingredients are the Carotenoid components and they specify the saffron properties. These four components are the reason of the color, fragrant aroma and sweet taste of saffron. They are also the reason of the antioxidant properties of saffron. We can say the amount of these four could explain the quality of saffron.

Based on the experiments that did in the approved international lab test the highest quality of saffron belongs to Persian saffron. Between the Iranian saffron, Ghaenat saffron has the best quality.

The quality of different types of saffron is different. Sargol has the best quality, but Negin and Super Negin are more common types for export, these two have a high quality two.

After Iranian saffron, Spanish and Indian saffron have a great quality. Afghan saffron has the acceptable quality.

Some kinds of saffron like Italian, Moroccan and Greek have no types. It means that they produce in one type and there are no verities in the quality. These kinds of saffron do not have high quality.


Experts prescribe the daily usage of saffron, they insist on using real saffron. They never said that use the best one, but when you want to use this expensive spice, it is better to use a great one. The best quality of saffron belongs to Iran. The different types of saffron have various qualities; Sargol and Super Negin have the best quality. Be careful to buy them from trusted sellers. The price of saffron is high, while you want to pay for it, try to find the best quality.


Where can I buy the best saffron?

The best saffron is Persian saffron; you can find in all around the world, you can also buy it online, from trusted and old producers.

How can I recognize the best saffron?

It is better to know about recognizing method, like shape, color, aroma, taste and other home tests to recognize real and fake saffron and understand which spice is better and has a higher quality.

The best saffron named, based on which proof?

The best saffron chose and named based on the specified experiment, which do in the approved international labs.