How to Find original Saffron & Avoid Fake Saffron

Saffron is the world’s most costly spice. You’ve probably heard it’s more expensive than gold, which is correct. Bulk saffron wholesalers & suppliers sell them at higher rates due to their harvesting process. It required a lot of effort to pick thousands of flowers to make one gram of Saffron.

When looking to buy high-quality Saffron and spending your hard-earned money on this intriguing spice, you want to be sure that you are getting the original deal and that the Saffron you are buying is of good quality. How can you determine whether the Saffron you purchased is high quality? We shall look at that in this post.


Saffron is a unique and expensive spice. Because of this, you can find multiple fraud suppliers providing fake Saffron. Fake Saffron might be low-quality Saffron, deceptively packaged Saffron with additions, or wholly fake.

There are a few recognized ways to fake something like that. Some dealers add water sprays, which can increase the product’s weight by 10-15%, to make it appear like you are receiving more Saffron than you are. Saffron should not feel moist when you obtain it — the threads should be dry and delicate and have a fresh aroma. Your Saffron has probably had some moisture if it feels damp.

Some people produce fake Saffron by spraying corn silk with colorings to make it look like Saffron, and some goods contain a variety of additives that might be detrimental to the customer.

There’s no purpose in buying Saffron if it’s fake because it will have no benefits. Bulk saffron wholesalers & suppliers sell fake ones at low prices to attract more customers. Next, let’s have a look at a real saffron.


Saffron of high quality has a rich red hue and threads typically 1.2 to 3.8 inches long. So, avoid purchasing the Saffron in the ground or powdered form as it may contain low-quality ingredients. Also, avoid buying those the same color as turmeric or marigold. 

To buy high-quality Saffron, you should look for a recognized, licensed, and reliable supplier. A well-known supplier always provides a high-quality product. Also, they respond to any inquiries about the Saffron’s origin and provide test results if necessary.

High-quality Saffron is packaged in small, airtight containers to keep the spice safe. It probably is different if it’s sold in a big bag and seems cheap.

The Different Grades of Saffron

There are different grades and classes of Saffron. There are four distinct basic classes of Saffron, but which one is worst, and how can we decide which is suitable and high-quality? It depends upon the international standards organization (ISO), which assigns international grades based on color, flavor, and aroma. It helps the user buy the best quality Saffron by fulfilling the criteria. Crocin, a chemical compound found in saffron threads, is of primary concern because it strongly influences all other measurements. We have listed the four saffron quality grades below.

Saffron Quality Diagram – Pure Saffron Farms

Grade I – in grade one, we have Super Negin saffron, which comes in deep red. The thread of good and crocin-heavy Super Negin Saffron should be 9.5mm in length (.375 inches) to 12.5mm (half an inch) long. However, every region has different growing conditions each year, which affect the quality of Saffron and change its standard.

Sargol Grade II – When the general population buys Saffron, it is almost always sargol grade saffron. Its quality varies depending on the thickness of the stigmas and whether they are proper.

Grade III – Pushal – The third grade of Saffron can have deep red stigmas of excellent quality, but to put it simply, it is “cut” by not being cut. The tip of the yellow or white connecting plant material is underneath the red stigma (thread).

Grade IV – Dokhtar – The lowest grade of Saffron has the typical red stigma but is a part of the overall “style.” Consider a flower’s style as a secondary floral stalk that grows from within the blossom. The original Saffron has an intense red top, but lower-grade Saffron has yellow or white bottoms.

Six tests to identify real/pure Saffron

Many people have heard about the tremendous benefits of Saffron and wish to test this incredible spice. When people search for saffron internet, they see an immense variety and grades due to, and they need clarification about which one to purchase. There are multiple bulk saffron wholesalers & suppliers who claim that they sell original ones, but how to decide if they are speaking the truth? Here are some of the identities of Saffron that you should know before purchasing it. They will help you in selecting the original one. 


Many experts say Saffron has a sweet-smelling aroma and a distinct scent that is not fully sweet, something like paella. Saffron is a bit husky and sweet in smell. It is best to use in dishes like rice, in the inclusion of the spice gives paella an unmistakable scent. Real Saffron has an aroma that is “a combination of soil, tobacco, vanilla, honey, salty-sweet,” according to one saffron grower.


Saffron threads have a trumpet-like appearance, and a thread is phony if it does not swell at one end. So, to identify real Saffron, you can rub it between your fingers and see that your skin turns yellow/orange.


The original Saffron has a sweet fragrance, but it tastes slightly bitter. However, fake Saffron tastes a bit sweet.

Watercolor release timing

Put the threads in a little cup of warm water. Hold off for at least 15 minutes. If it is a real saffron, the water gradually turns yellow, and it could take an hour for the color to change. The saffron threads themselves keep their vibrant red hue. The substance is not saffron if the water does not change color, changes color slowly, turns red, or if the threads lose their color.

Real saffron threads will also hold their shape if you massage them between your fingers after they have soaked. Fakes, on the other hand, frequently disintegrate.

How it reacts with baking soda

Another way to check the difference between real and fake Saffron is by checking how it reacts with baking soda. Still, according to various authorities, you should combine Saffron and baking soda in a small container before adding water, and it is genuine Saffron if it turns yellow.


If it’s not very pricey, there’s a good possibility it’s not real Saffron. As my mother often said, if something sounds good to be true, it probably is. Based on this pricing test, I should have had doubts about the Hungarian substance from the start.

Buying advice for Saffron

Never purchase ground saffron. Even if your recipe may ask for ground, if you purchase it in threads, at least you can verify that it is authentic. It is nearly unbelievable to tell the difference between genuine and false or contaminated once the product has been ground. Additionally, even if it is true, ground saffron may contain additives like starch, turmeric, or paprika.

Buying from a reliable supplier may seem obvious, but it always helps to keep that in mind. That source might be a store you trust or an internet seller you have vetted.

Final thoughts

Those who like to get the most out of their Saffron should stick to pure Saffron. Finding genuine Saffron is not tricky, and there are various methods to do it. Quality saffron has distinguishable qualities that are visible to everyone. In addition to the testing procedures we previously discussed, looking for businesses with ISO certification is another excellent way to find high-quality, pure Saffron.

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