Identify Fake Saffron

How to Identify Fake Saffron?

Genuine Saffron is expensive, highly sought after and by weight is worth more than gold. With thanks to its incredible flavours and endless health benefits that Saffron can provide, it can be argued that despite its high price tag real Saffron is priceless.  

Seeing as the premium Saffron price tag is high and the spice is highly sought after, there is a lot to be gained from selling fake or adulterated Saffron. Before we discuss how to spot fake Saffron let’s make one thing clear- there is no alternative to genuine and good Saffron. Genuine Saffron can not be replicated. If you see Saffron sold for cheaper than most prices, your best bet is to steer clear. 

There are several ways that Saffron can be fake- which makes it even trickier to spot a fake fast. Real Saffron comes from crocus flower heads and is red, despite the flower being purple. Because each flower only produces three Saffron stigmas, the product is rare and hard to come by.

While our Saffron is certified and meets the international standards for potency and quality fake Saffron brands may also claim the same. You may be wondering, ‘what is fake Saffron made of?’ and ‘how do i know Saffron is fake’ and the truthful answer is it is hard to do so without smelling, touching and tasting the saffron thread first. 

Some adulterated Saffron can be sold mixed with corn silk threads, safflower, coconut filaments or even horsehair or shredded paper; all of which are terrible and potentially harmful to consume. Other fake Saffron brands don’t even bother mixing real Saffron, rather they just sell a completely false product. 

It is very important for your health, safety and happiness to identify fake Saffron before you ingest it. 

How to Spot Fake Saffron

  • Price- When you’re buying Saffron, the first thing you will notice is the price tag. While it may be too expensive for some, the price of Saffron is the quickest way to identify real products. Quality Saffron comes with a (well deserved) price!
  • Appearance- The next step to identifying fake Saffron is by examining how it looks. Real Saffron threads are trumpet-shaped with a bulge at one end. Identifying pure Saffron powder is a little bit more difficult purely by looking at it. Real Saffron will leave a yellowy-orange residue on your fingers when you rub it. If you have the chance to touch it, make sure you do. 
  • Smell- Many would assume that Saffron smells sweet, and while this is partially true quality Saffron is more likely to smell a little bit woody as well. Think of honey crossed with hay, or a musty perfume. Saffron should not be overly sweet or overly savoury smelling so if it smells a little bit odd you should trust your instincts. 
  • Colour Release- If you have already purchased the Saffron and want to test it’s authenticity then put the threads in a small cup of cold water and wait 15 minutes. If the water immediately turns yellow, red or no colour at all and if your threads lose colour, your Saffron is fake. Real Saffron can take up to one hour to change the colour of water while retaining their red colour. You can perform the same test with warm water. 
  • Taste- Real Saffron does not taste sweet. The flavour is often described as more bitter, which is why it matches beautifully with honey and more savoury dishes. 
  • How it Reacts to Baking Soda- If you have Saffron to spare, mix some threads with baking soda in a small container and then pour water over it. If the mixture turns yellow, your Saffron is real! 

Real Saffron is unmatchable in quality, flavour and health benefits. To experience the magic of high-quality Saffron, always shop from certified sellers.