Saffron is the world`s most expensive spice derived from the flower Crocus sativus known as saffron flower. The reason for being the world's most costly spice by weight is the stigma, the portion of the flower used for cooking and must be hand-picked off the flowers. To obtain one gram of saffron, at least 150 flowers are needed.
Iran is the world`s largest producer of saffron, producing approximately 90% of the world`s total production of saffron.
Ingredients of Saffron:
Saffron contains over 150 volatile aromatic and non-volatile active ingredients. It is rich in carotenoids such as alpha - carotene, alpha - crocin, beta - carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin. The golden yellow color of saffron is mainly due to alpha - crocin.
Another ingredient in saffron is picrocrocin, which involves in flavoring the spice. The main contributing ingredients to the aroma of saffron are safranal (a volatile oil) and trimethyl cyclohexadien.
Saffron is also a powerhouse of many vitamins and minerals.
Health Benefits of Saffron: