Article Title [Persian]
Background & Aim: Saffron is one of the expensive spices known since antiquity for its color, flavor and medicinal properties. Saffron is the dried stigma of crocus sativus plant. The three basic components of the stigma on which the qualitative characteristics of Saffron depend are crocin (color), picrocrocin (taste), and safranal (aroma). The quality of saffron is a function of climatic conditions, soil type, as well as method of drying, packaging, and storage. Experimental: In this research, the saffron growing in different regions of Iran including Kerman, Shiraz, Arak, Natanz, Ghaen, Shahrekord, and Dolatabad has been studied with regard to its humidity, ash, phenolic compounds, crocin, safranal, and picrocrocin for its classification. Results & Discussion: The saffron of Shiraz and that of Kerman showed the maximum and minimum amount for ash with a value of 8.02% and 5.38%, respectively. With a view to moisture content, Natanz and Shahrekord saffron showed the highest and the lowest moisture content with a value of 11.97% and 9.7%, respectively. The phenolic compounds were determined by spectrophotometry and ranged from 17.43 mg gallic acid/g dry weight of saffron in Kerman sample to 8.87mg gallic acid/g dry weight in Dolatabad saffron. The highest level of safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin belonged to Shahrekord, Dolatabad, and Shahrekord saffron with a rate of 84.43, 234.4 and 38.4 (strength/ g dry matter) based on the most absorption over three wavelengths of 257, 440, and 330nm, respectively. Industrial and practical recommendations: With regard to variable applications of saffron as flavoring and coloring in food industry, the results of this study can be used for appropriate usage of saffron cultivated in different regions according to their specifications.
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