Quality of Saffron

Here are the most reliable ways to identify high quality saffron from low quality:

1. Physical appearance
Real saffron is very dry and natural. Real saffron threads appear in dark red, the redder the better. Low-quality saffron threads appear wax-coated

2. Taste
If you pop a tiny strand/thread in your mouth and if the saffron tastes sweet, its a low-quality saffron. Real saffron will have a bitter taste

3. Aroma
The real saffron aroma is a blend of honey, hay and even it has a pungent smell this is due to high levels of Safranal and Picrocrocin in the Saffron. While low-quality saffron will have almost no aroma

4. Touch it
Original saffron doesn’t stick with one another but low-quality saffron sticks to one another

5. Extraction Test
When Grade 1 saffron is added to the water/milk, it floats on top. Color spreads slowly from top to bottom. When low-quality saffron is added to the water/milk, instead of floating, it settles on the bottom and the color changes immediately

6. Baking soda test
Take a small amount of baking soda to a cup filled with water and mix it. Then add saffron to the mixture. If it is pure saffron, the mixture shall turn yellow. The low-quality saffron will turn dim red
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