Table of Content
FSSAI Standards for Saffron (Kesar)
Saffron (popularly known as Kesar in India) is a dried stigma of the flower – Crocus sativus. In appearance, it is dark red in color and threadlike. The odor of saffron is pungent and it possesses spicy and slightly bitter flavor. The flowers of saffron are grown in France, Italy, Spain, India, the eastern Mediterranean region, and the Middle East. Saffron has wide use in culinary items.
Because of its difficult harvesting process and known benefits, the cost of saffron is very high. FSSAI, in order to protect the consumer interest and ensure their safety, has set the standards for sale of Saffron in India. The regulation 2.9.15, lists the required specifications, to which Saffron shall conform.
For Saffron as a whole, the FSSAI has set a limit on the extraneous matter of not more than 1 percent by weight. However, the presence of floral waste i.e. yellow filaments that are unattached and separated pollens, stamens, parts of ovaries and other parts of flowers, is permitted up to 10 percent by weight. The Saffron powder shall be free from any extraneous matter or floral waste.
Saffron in whole or powder form shall conform to the following respective standards:
|S. No.||Parameter||Saffron||Saffron Powder|
|1.||Moisture and volatile matter||Not more than 12.0 percent by weight (at 103 ± °C)||Not more than 10.0 percent by weight|
|2.||Total ash on a dry basis.||Not more than 8.0 percent by weight||Not more than 8.0 percent by weight|
|3.||Ash insoluble in dilute HCl on a dry basis.||Not more than 1.5 percent by weight||Not more than 1.5 percent by weight|
|4.||The solubility in cold water on a dry weight basis.||Not more than 65.0 percent by weight||Not more than 65.0 percent by weight|
|5.||The bitterness of the product is expressed as direct reading of the absorbance of picrocrocine at about 257 nm on a dry basis.||Not less than 30.0 percent by weight||Not less than 30.0 percent by weight|
|6.||Safranal is expressed as direct reading of the absorbance of 330 nm on a dry basis.||Not less than 20.0 percent by weight and not more than 50.0 percent by weight||Not less than 20.0 percent by weight and not more than 50.0 percent by weight.|
|7.||The coloring strength is expressed as direct reading of the absorbance of 440 nm on a dry basis of the product.||Not less than 80.0 percent by weight||Not less than 80.0 percent by weight|
|8.||Total Nitrogen on a dry basis.||Not more than 2.0 percent by weight||Not more than 3.0 percent by weight|
|9.||Crude Fiber on a dry basis.||Not more than 6.0 percent basis by weight||Not more than 6.0 percent by weight|
The product shall be free from foreign odor and mustiness. It should be free from mold, living and dead insects, insect fragments and parts, and rodent contamination. There shall not be any added coloring matter. The step from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India will help ensure the quality and promote fair trade of Saffron in India.
- Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 – https://fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:99067191-c774-4c81-b9c8-708b9e72b770/Food_Additives_Regulations.pdf