Fake saffron exists for many reasons but the most important one is because pure saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Cultivation and production of this spice are very difficult and therefore has a high price. The high price of this spice has motivated fraudsters. Although it may be prepackaged under strict controls of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and trademarks guaranteeing authenticity, these marks are not always evidence of the originality and proper quality of the product.
how can you be completely sure that you are not buying fake saffron?
1. it is an expensive spice and any price lower than its real value can send you a signal that the product is counterfeit. Also, look for well-known and reputable brands. Even if these brands sell the product at discounted prices, you will have a safe purchase.
2. Saffron filaments are bright red in color with a slightly paler tip, more like red-orange. The dull red color means that the product is old. While cheating on its color can be very simple, the real one is formed in strands with different ends. Saffron yarns are the same size, but different in color. When all yarns are the same red, they may be dyed to hide the true color beneath.
3. Try to taste it, real saffron will have a bitter and slightly astringent or sharp taste when placed on the tongue. If it tastes sweet, it is probably fake.
4. Saffron yarns should be dry and brittle and not soft and sticky. You should see broken pieces of saffron at the bottom of the package.
5. Try to smell the spice well. If the scent is a cross between dry grass and honey, it is probably real, and if you do not inhale the scent, it can be fake. this spice gives a fresh and fragrant scent. If it smells old or you feel that some chemical has been added to it, then avoid it.
6. Learn the types of saffron slices. The highest quality yarn is called Negin or premium red. This saffron contains only the bright red part of the stigma and the yellow part is removed before the drying process. The more it is cut to a lighter color, the quality will be lower.
7. The packaging must show the date of harvest and the date must be close to the present time.
8. Experiment. Put the saffron thread in water to give its color to water. In both cases, whether the product is fake or genuine, the water gets the same color, but when the yarn is removed, if the saffron has lost its color, it means it is counterfeit and dyed, and if it has retained its color, it means it is authentic and original.
9. Try another experiment. Mix a small amount of baking soda in a glass of water and then add the saffron. Water / baking soda mixture should turn yellow if your product is pure, while fake saffron makes the water red.
10. When we put the fake product in water, it starts to ripen quickly, but the original one needs more time for this process.