Iran can be considered as the cradle of the world’s saffron. Almost 90 percent of the world’s saffron is produced in Iran. Even many of saffron that are distributed with label of other countries are from Iran. saffron in Iran goes back 3000 years and still has its own power. saffron is known as the red gold of desert because its origin is Iran’s deserts. Even Unlike the fact that many believe the word saffron originates from Arabic name, Iran is the origin of its name and most of the Arabic sources have reference to Iranian sources.
WHICH ARE THE TYPES OF SAFFRON?
There are different types and degrees of saffron quality and their price is accordingly determined. In general, saffron can be divided into three groups based on parts of saffron flower. Straw saffron which is in form of string with a little yellow or white color at the end of the string. Flower head saffron is all red and the fine and its strings are broken since it is the sorted type of Straw saffron. Jeweled saffron is all red and bold, and approximately all of its strings are normal with minimal breakage. In fact, it can be said that Flower head saffron and Jeweled saffron are both pure and the only difference between them is that most strings of Flower head saffron are broken while most strings of Jeweled saffron are normal.
Although Persian Sargol is considered as the premium saffron, there is another variation of Sargol Saffron. If three stigma threads are attached together and form a cluster, this type of saffron is called Negin. Since production of Negin saffron is an extremely delicate and precise manual skill, it is the most expensive type of saffron and very limited to offer. The ISO reading of Negin is usually more than 270.
- Sargol (All Red)
This grade consists of ONLY dark red stigma tips and has the highest quality compared to the other types. Sargol saffron is the pure saffron with no broken stand and has the ISO reading of 260-270. Due to accumulation of saffron`s active components in stimas, Persian Sargol has a very strong arom and rich coloring capacity.
- Pushal (Mancha)
Pushal saffron is the stigma part of the plant attached to a 1-3 mm style end. According to ISO 3632 system, this type falls into grade II category that has a color reading of up to 250. Although Pushal does not have Sargol`s pure texture and premium quality, but some consumers prefer to purchase Iranian Pushal to be assured of saffron validity and authenticity.
- Khooshe (Bunch)
This grade is relatively low strength grade (ISO reading is 70 to 75) and consists of red stigmata plus large amount of yellow style, presented in a tiny bundle.
- KONJ (KONGE)
This grade consists of only yellow-white styles and has a very little aroma and coloring potential.
- Saffron Powder
Although Saffron powder is not a grade of Saffron, it is prepared by fine grinding of Sargol, Pushal and Bunch parts of the plant. This product has a slightly lighter color compared to Sargol and Pushal and its coloring capacity is obviously less. The manufacturing process is done by superior technology to avoid loss of Persian saffron`s quality. Saffron powder can be easily adultered and mixed with other ingredients such as artificial dye and turmeric, so it has always to be obtained from trusted source.