how to identify high quality saffron

Identify High Quality Saffron: Simple Guide

Saffron is known as the most expensive spice all around the world. It means that trading this spice is a profitable kind of trading. When there is a profitable trading the frauds awake. Due to this point, real and trusted suppliers try to describe different ways to recognize real saffron and probably understand its quality. We are going to explain some of these ways here.

What is high quality saffron?

The real saffron is the stigmas of the Crocus Sativus flower. People know this flower as the saffron flower. In each flower, there are three stigmas. Each stigma is about 4-5 centimeters, the first three centimeters are red and are called saffron, the 1-2 centimeters at the end of the stigma is orange or yellow and call the root. In saffron processing these stigmas are separated from the petals manually, this is one important step in processing and one of the reasons for the high price of this spice.

During the process, the red part separated and dried to make the best types of saffron, Negin and Super Negin.

The root part has no color, but it has the aroma and other saffron properties. The taste of this part is less than the red part, and due to all these points it is cheaper than the red saffron.

Fake saffron

Frauds have many choices to sell as the real saffron. They may color the corn root or wheat strings and roots, and they introduce and sell them as saffron. They also may sell the impure saffron; they mix root parts of saffron with these colored strands and claim that they have good quality saffron. This type is more deceptive due to the aroma of saffron roots.

That is why you should learn to recognize real and avoid fake saffron. There are different ways and offers be with us to check some of them.

Recognizing high quality saffron

There are different ways to recognize real saffron; you may think that these ways need lab instruments or tests. Of course lab tests are the best and most trusted way to understand real saffron and also the quality of it, but we cannot check with the labs always. There are some home tests that you should do them at your home and you do not need especial instruments. There are also some appearance features that you can check them when you want to buy your golden spice.

Appearance features

Look at the photos of saffron on the web and also compare them together, check these appearances.


The shape of real stigmas is like a trumpet. They have a narrow end and wide head. You should also check the longitude of them. Most of these stigmas are 3-4 centimeters.

Fake saffron usually has very narrow threads and you cannot see the trumpet shape in them.


The color of saffron is red. They are not dark or bright red. If you see these colors, check other features. If you can ask questions about the color and the spice, ask them before buying.

Actually, the dark red color in the threads of saffron means that during the drying process the stands are burned, if there are lots of burn threads, this saffron has not good quality.


The strands of saffron are smooth. If you see the curling and bending it may not real or it has not good quality.

During drying process and other steps of saffron process the saffron threads may bend, break or curl, but the amount of these strands determines the quality. If all the strands are curled, burned and bent you are looking at the fake saffron.

Home tests

There are many home tests to recognize real and high-quality saffron. The needed instruments are the common things in all houses.

Smell of saffron

Saffron is famous because of its fragrant aroma. If you smelled it before you can understand the aroma every time and everywhere. If you do not have any experience about this aroma, think about the greatest earthy aroma. Ask some friend that knows about this, the aromatic spice would be helpful.

The golden color

Saffron has a red color, but it releases a golden yellow color when you brew it. When you brew saffron threads, they need at least 5-7 minutes to release color, while the fake colored strands release their fake color in a minute.

The high quality saffron has the golden bright yellow color; the impure and bad quality ones have a common yellow color.

If you add saffron threads to warm water to brew your spice, you can see that they float on the water surface. After brewing, the color of water changes to golden yellow, but the color of the threads of saffron is still red, they do not lose their color.

Flavor test

The saffron has a bitter delicate flavor, like well-prepared espresso. If you put 1-2 threads under your tongue, you can feel its taste. Your tongue gets the yellow color of the golden spice.

Paper towel test

Use a clean white paper towel, put 2-3 saffron strands on it, bend the paper towel and push on the strands. The strands release their color to your white paper towel that means you can see the golden yellow color of the sunshine spice on this paper towel.

Where to buy high quality saffron?

There are many shops and online sites that sell saffron. You should buy this expensive spice from a trusted seller. How could you know the trusted sellers? You could check their licenses, ISOs and standards. Some sellers show you the results of lab tests too, to prove the reality and quality of their products.

Ghaaneh brand shows all these documents on the website, you can see and check them.

You can also read the clients and customers’ idea about their buying experiences.

It is better to buy saffron threads not powder. Recognizing the strand is easier that the powder. Even though, Ghaaneh brand uses the Negin and Super Negin saffron to make powder.


Recognizing the real and high quality saffron is really helpful for everyone. Try to use these tests and buy the best one. Saffron has a high price, when you have to pay a lot for it, you need to know the real and good quality and buy the great product. You need to pay attention to the properties of this spice and its appearance. It is not hard to recognize the real and understand the quality of this spice, try to use these tests once and check the results yourself.


Which types of saffron is the best?

The best type of saffron is Sargol saffron. But due to some problems you cannot find this type. Today, the best type of saffron that you can find and buy is Super Negin saffron.

Can I do these tests with all types of saffron?

Yes, but there are some differences, especially in the appearance features of different types of saffron. You should better know the features of each type and then use these tests.

Has the shelf life of real saffron been different with the fake ones?

Yes, the shelf life of original saffron is long, if you store it in its desired conditions, it may have 6 months or a year of shelf life.

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