The ISO standard definition of saffron quality

safranSaffron quality control, which is regulated by the international ISO/TS 3632 standard, places saffron in three categories depending on the crocin, picrocrocin and safranal content:

    • Its colouring ability, which is determined by its crocin concentration
    • Its taste, which is determined by the level of picrocrocin
    • Its odour, which is calculated by the level of safranal


Saffron classification under the ISO/TS 3632 standard

The diagram below helps to explain the different qualities of saffron:

Characteristics Categories
Humidity and volatile substance content (mass fraction), %, max.
Saffron threads 12 12 12
Powdered saffron 10 10 10
Characteristics Categories
Bitter flavour (picrocrocin), E1% 1cm 257 nm, on dry matter, min. 70 55 40
Safranal, E1% 1cm 330 nm, on dry matter:
min. 20 20 20
max. 50 50 50
Colouring ability (crocin), E1% 1cm 440 nm, on dry matter, min. 190 150 100

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