Types of Saffron
In this article, we are trying to show you to identify and recognize the grades and different types of various saffron that present different quality levels of the same saffron flower.
Super Negin Saffron (Super Premium)
Super Negin is the main descendant of All-Red family and has the highest saffron concentration level. The most glorious and luxurious type of saffron in the world for export. Moreover, it is well known for both aesthetic appearance and more volume.
In super Negin, three strands of saffron stigma are long-flat & thick connect together without any wave, curvature or wrinkling and free of frizz, without any cream or orange and yellow threads.
Containing the highest level of safranal, crocin and having a high coloring property between 240 and 290 units. Super Negin has a bit larger and thicker thread than Negin saffron and longer stigma length compared to Sargol saffron.
Producing super Negin saffron requires harder manual skills and involvement of more technical equipment than other types of saffron. The drying method of Super Negin makes a lot of difference in its appearance.
Super Negin is considered as a best choice for gifts and souvenirs or for using in many famous international restaurants.
Negin Saffron (Premium Saffron)
Negin Saffron is other members of the All-Red saffron family which are placed in second position in terms of quality and price value. Top-quality fragrance and aroma, high level of safranal and crocin.
Three stigma threads are attached together and are uniform, smooth and without fractures (unlike Sargol saffron, where the stigmas have fractures). Also has no style & pollen.
Negin saffron is same as super Negin and just differ in the size, thickness of the stigmas and their special drying methods and conditions. The Corocin rate and coloring power is between 230 and 270 USP of coloring.
It is more desired for home-usage and has better physical appearance and more expensive than Sargol saffron. The presence of broken stigma particles in the saffron is a distinguishing factor between Sargol and Negin.
Sargol (All Red Saffron)
Sargol is called “All-Red Saffron”, literally means “Top of the flower” and has total red stigmas.
It’s similar to “Coupe Saffron” in the Spanish market. The titles “Sarqalam”, “Sarrisheh” and” Mumtaz” are used for Sargol saffron. Use of Sargol saffron is more conventional than the others types in Iran.
It is in the third place after Negin and Super Negin in terms of color & aroma and due to containing crumbs and broken threads. Indeed, the three stigmas of a flower are not connected to the style in Sargol and Saffron Stigmas are completely separated.
The threads are shorter in size than Negin and Super Negin Saffron and it is derived from the very tip of the saffron thread. There is no trace of whiteness in it, no creamy part (saffron root) and “style” (the yellow part).
The coloring power of Sargol is between 210 and 260 and divided into different grade based on thickness, smoothness or fracture and stigma length.
Poushali saffron or Filament is the one of middle quality of other types of saffron. The favorable saffron type among home users and more public trust for the existence of style.
It consists of red and yellow strands. Indeed, The Pushal threads contain a bit of the yellow style as well. So, the coloring power is lower than Super Negin, Negin, & Sargol saffron and is known as a qualified saffron after the All-Red saffron category.
At the end of the stigma, there are some yellow or white parts, which gives it a straw-like shape; That is why saffron is called straw (Poushal). this type has in medium average Crocin, Safranal and Picrocrocin.
The main factor in distinguishing different qualities of poushal saffron type are the length of the style and thickness of stigmas. Generally, Poushal coloring power ranges between 200-240 units as it contains more style.
The red stigma part of the saffron string is 1 to 3 mm from the yellow cream part. It has the lowest amount of style among the varieties of pushal and has more coloring power than others.
The red stigma part of the saffron string is 1 to 4 mm from the yellow cream part. This grade has longer styles and is weaker than grade 1 in terms of appearance and coloring power.
It has more cream than other types of pushal and this brings it closer to bunch saffron but the amount of cream in it is still less than bunch saffron. This type is the weakest among all types of pushal.
Bunch Saffron (Batch, Dasteh, Khooshe, Dokhtar-Pich):
Bunch saffron locally called Dasteh, Khooshe or Dokhtar-Pich. Bunch is also known as red & white saffron that all wrapped like a bunch.
Bunch saffron covers the full string of saffron (consists of stigma & style and has the red and yellow parts of saffron together). Less red color and more yellow part the yellow part is about 30 and the red part is about 70%. Indeed, Bunch is the basic saffron types, has a beautiful red-orange color and it is obtained by stacking and drying a whole string of saffron.
Bunch saffron has less pigmentation than other types of saffron. The bottom of the saffron thread has the whitish-grey color and is the lowest grade of saffron Bunch. The saffron stigmas are not separated from the white part of saffron. In bunch saffron, the stigma can be shorter or longer which determines the saffron quality.
The coloring power of batch saffron is between 120 and 150 units. Bunch is normally wrapped by a white strand eliminating the risk of strand coloring.
White Saffron or Style (Konj)
After separate the head (sargol) from the bunch, the root or white part, which in Iran is known as Konj or white saffron remains that is not included in the category of saffron varieties because it doesn’t contain the dye, crocin that gives food a rich golden color. This part is known in Europe as white or style (cream).
It is the yellow or white parts of saffron threads which are separated from Red-colored stigma. white saffron contains many properties as the nutritious substances are transferred to stigmas through white saffron. It is mostly applied for medicinal & therapeutic usages.