Organic saffron threads need responsible sourcing. Irrespective of whether you are buying online or offline, the need for quality assessment is paramount. Owing to its distinctive and superlative taste, high-quality saffron happens to be among the most expensive items sold in the world, per weight. And this also makes it a ripe choice for adulteration. This is why purchasing spice from a reputed saffron wholesaler is important.
Choosing the Right Source for Buying Pure Saffron
One of the first and best things to do perhaps is to get hold of a seller of repute. Some of the points to consider for assessing your seller include:
- The wholesaler you have chosen must have been in business for a considerable number of years. Whichever product you buy, experience always pays.
- The wholesaler should possess all the required certifications needed for the standardization of product quality. It is always a good idea to check on the documents beforehand.
- The prices offered by the wholesaler should be competitive. However, they should not be below market standards. Prices that seem unimaginably low could mean a compromise on quality.
- It is always a good idea to check the website of the seller thoroughly for customer feedback and referrals. Read through what each buyer has to say about the product quality, customer service guidelines, and so on. Make an informed decision.
- Check on return and refund policies before ordering. What if you are unhappy with the product quality? Will your product be exchanged or refunded? What would be the applicable timelines for the same?
Assessing Organic Saffron Threads before Purchase
One of the best proofs of quality is to zero in on a good wholesaler. Besides, there are many ways to assess product quality as well. Here are some questions to ask before you order your product.
- What is the colour of your saffron thread?- The best saffron threads are dark orange or red. You should enquire about the exact color of the threads before ordering.
- What is the structure of your saffron threads?-- The threads should be thin on one end and flattened on the other. The flattened end should have a yellowish hue.
- What is the texture of the threads?--Ideally, the texture must be dry and brittle. Although touching and feeling the product is not possible for online purchases, asking the right questions always helps.
- How is your saffron packaged?--High-quality saffron is generally packed in glass or ceramic containers and shipped. Tin containers are also a norm. However, if your seller is planning to pack saffron in paper or plastic bags, buying from him is not a good idea. Saffron packed in cardboard boxes is also a bad idea. Buying saffron powder is also not advisable. Powdered saffron is generally adulterated and should never be bought. Buying saffron by weight is also a bad idea.
- How does your Saffron Smell?: The purest form of saffron emanates a kind of earthy, floral, and hay-like aroma that reminds one of vanilla and honey. The smell should not be musty or bitter.
- What is the Preferred Taste?: When you source premium quality saffron, it has a sweet, floral flavor that’s almost honey-like. There may be slight spiciness or bitterness. The aroma is considered to be earthy and grassy. The taste can also be termed metallic with hints of spice. However, if the taste appears to be extremely bitter, it is a cheap variant and should be essentially avoided.
The Many Benefits of Pure Saffron
Pure saffron has many benefits. Some of the more relevant ones include:
It is a powerful Antioxidant
Plant compounds present in the saffron act as antioxidants. Some of the notable antioxidants in saffron include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Among these, crocetin and crocin are pigments that are responsible for the red colour present in saffron. These compounds possess antidepressant properties, improve inflammation, and protect the cells of the brain against progressive and ongoing damage. They also help in weight loss by reducing appetite.
Safranal lends saffron its distinct aroma and taste. Research also shows that safranal can help in improving memory, mood as well as learning ability. It can also work by protecting brain cells against oxidative stress. The compound kaempferol can be found in the flower petals of saffron. It aids in mood enhancement, improving learning ability and nourishing memory cells.
Saffron Treats Depression
Being a natural active ingredient, Saffron controls and manages mild to moderate depression effectively. Most chemical-based medications prescribed for depression have humungous side effects that need to be dealt with separately. Saffron emerges as a safe alternative that not only is free from side effects but also provides additional benefits and advantages.
Saffron may Help in Managing PMS Symptoms
PMS or premenstrual symptoms comprise a bunch of emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms that occur before the onset of the menstrual period. Some studies show that consuming saffron daily can help in treating PMS symptoms.
For women between the ages of 20 to 45 years, consuming 30mg of saffron acts as a placebo in treating and managing PMS symptoms such as headaches, irritability, pain, and cravings. Another study has also gone on to find that simply sniffing on pure saffron can lower the levels of cortisol and in turn helps in managing anxiety triggered by the onset of menstrual periods.
Saffron is known for its cancer-curing properties as well. Although significant research is pending in this domain, saffron is known to kill cancer cells thriving in the colon or elsewhere in the body. It is also known to enhance the sensitivity of cancer cells toward chemotherapy drugs. It can work as an alternative support mechanism for treating cancer, alongside other potent medications.
Sourcing saffron from trusted sources can provide immense benefits. Not only does saffron enhance the taste and flavors of everyday dishes and delicacies, but it also brings in a host of health benefits. Owing to high price points, saffron is generally purchased in small amounts. Bulk purchases however guarantee better price advantages.