Saffron (crocus sativus)


Behin Exir saffron is 100% pure, fresh, deep, clean, and in accordance with ISO 3632 and Iranian standards for saffron. The quality of Behin Exir saffron is higher than international standards for saffron.

Saffron, known as “The Red Gold”, is the world’s most expensive spice, even more expensive than truffles and caviar. Saffron is a dried stigma of crocus sativus, named after the land where it comes from, the Krokos village in Greece. The word saffron is derived from the persion word “zarparan” in which “zar” and “Paran” mean “Golden” and “Small pieces”, respectively. This product has different qualities depending on the strand isolated from the stigma. Harvesting and hand-picking saffron is labor-intensive. Each 110-170 thousand flowers (weighing 200 kg) produce 5 kg of fresh saffron and 1 kg of dried saffron. Iran is the world's largest producer and exporter of saffron. Iran now accounts for approximately 90-95% of the world production of saffron. The saffron flower does not have many different types and it is just one kind. The product analysis sheet (prepared by the laboratory certified by the National Iranian Standards Organization) is available and can be presented on demand.

Want to know more about Saffron?


Botanical nameCrocus sativus

Family name: Iridaceae

Botanical: Saffron (Crocus sativus L.), with a basic chromosome number of x = 8, is a triploid perennial herb which is 10 to 30 cm long and without stem.

Flower: Saffron includes six purple petals, three sepals, three orange stamens, a three-branched red stigma (20-40 mm long), and a yellow-to-white style about 5 cm. Its flowering season is autumn (October to December).

Leaves: Saffron has five to eleven green leaves formed simultaneously or after flowering.

Corm: 1 to 20 grams, 3 to 5 cm in diameter, producing one to three flowers  

  • Kingdom: Plantae (plants)
  • Subkingdom: Viridiplantae (green plants)
  • Division: Tracheophyta  – vascular plants, tracheophytes
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Iridaceae
  • Genus: crocus
  • Species: Crocus sativus
Plant part: Flower stigma
Saffron growth stages: saffron growth stages
Origin: Iran
Processing method: Flower harvest, stigma separation, and then drying
Appearance: Dried strands
Color:  Deep-red, luminous
2Common names
Italian Zaffarano, Zafferano HindiKesar, Keshar
FrenchSafranKannada Kumnkuma kesari
SpanishAzafránKashmiriKaungh, Kong
GermanKrokus, Gewürzsafran, Safran MarathiKeshar
GreekΚρόκος, Σαφράνι, Ζαφορά, Krokos, Safrani, Zafora BengaliJafran
PersianZaafaran ChineseFan hung hua
Russian Shafran- Шафран Japanese Safuran
3Origin and history

The scientific name for saffron (crocus sativus) is derived from the word Corycus, a regional name in Cilicia in the eastern Mediterranean. Although the origin of the saffron plant is not completely clear, archaeological studies show the saffron harvest on the walls of the Minos Palace in Greece dating back to 1600-1700 BC. Another important document is the painting of young women harvesting saffron on the walls of the Akrotiri Palace in Greece dating back to 1450-1700. Furthermore, some paintings related to this plant and dating back to about 50,000 years ago have been drawn in the caves of Iraq and the northwest of the Iranian Empire. Some sources also refer to the possible site as Turkey, Iran, and India where saffron was cultivated for thousands of years. The oldest documents about the edible use of saffron are recorded by Polyen (in the 2nd century BC), a Greek military writer who, in his graduation thesis entitled “Stratagemes”, reports a list of foods consumed by the court of the Persian Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BC), which had been carved on a bronze column in front of the kitchen (Abrishami, 2004).

4Geographical distribution

Saffron Crocus sativus L. grows equally well in mild continental climate as in Mediterranean climate with cool winters and dry summers and under dry Mediterranean humidity conditions. The plant is resistant to extreme temperatures varying from 40oC during summer to -15oC in winter. Geographical distribution is Iran, India, Turkey, Afghanistan, Greece, Afghanistan, Morocco, Spain, Italy, China, and Azerbaijan.

5Major constituents

Almost 150 volatile and nonvolatile compounds are obtained from the chemical analysis of saffron. Some of the most important compounds include Crocine (C44H64O24), Picrocrocine (C16H26O7), and Safranal (C10H14O). These compounds are responsible for the color, taste, and aroma of saffron.

6Various Applications

Food industry: Saffron has high levels of manganese, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and vitamin B6. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law, saffron is authorized as a natural dye, and its use as a natural flavoring is not limited. It is used in the preparation of foods such as sausages, margarine, butter, cheese, liquors, meat dishes, dairy, cakes and desserts, jellies, beverages, chocolates, drinks, soups, rice, and many other foods. It is a flavoring and coloring agent for many classic Spanish and Iranian dishes. This precious substance adds a golden color and a strong and aromatic taste to many foods. Saffron is used in many traditional European dishes such as Paula Valenciana, French soup boilabayes, and rosotou ala Milan. It is also used to prepare "saffron bread" at Lucia's Christmas Day in Sweden and at Orthodox Easter on the island of Astypalaia (Greece).

Cosmetics and perfume: Due to the numerous functional properties of saffron, this product is used in the preparation of many kinds of cosmetics. Saffron is a useful substance for cleansing the skin. It contains antibacterial ingredients for acne treatment. It also increases circulation in the skin, creates a radiant skin, and eliminates sunburn on the skin, leading to skin rejuvenation.

Therapeutic properties: Treatment of depression is one of the most important properties of saffron in traditional medicine from ancient times. The benefits of saffron as an antidepressant are well-documented. Some other therapeutic uses of saffron include antioxidant, relieving cough, bronchitis, and liver obstruction, reducing cholesterol, stimulating appetite, fighting neurological and asthma disorders, reducing menstrual pain, reducing colic, increasing male fertility, strengthening the heart, improving the mood, reducing anxiety and stress, anti-tumor, memory and learning booster, neuroprotector, having analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, sedative, anti-diabetic, and anti-carcinogenic properties, blood pressure reducer, lipid reducer, retina protector, and insomnia treatment. Thus saffron, as an important medicinal herb, is a good candidate with many promising potentials to be considered for designing new drugs.

Other industries: Saffron is used in dyeing (for example, for coloring traditional silk belts) and perfumes.


Bulk or depending on your request.

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Negin (stigma and 0.5% style), is the purest, the costliest, and the best type of Iranian saffron. The minimum Crosin content is 230 nm. This type includes ottoyi (peressi) (pofaki), Super Negin, Grade 1, and Grade 2.


Sargol (coupé) (100% stigma), It is the most widely used type with a high power of coloring and aroma and is obtained from “bunched saffron” and “Pushal saffron”. It is made up of only red stigma tips and is among the best grades of saffron. 105-115 kg of saffron flowers produce only 1 kg of Sargol saffron. The minimum color potency (the minimum Crosin content) of Sargol grade is 220 nm.

Pushal (pushali):

Pushal (pushali) (Mancha) (stigma and 5-30% style), It is the most reliable type of saffron and includes red stigma with the white part of threads. Its length is between 2cm to 3.5cm. Color potency (Crosin content) of Sargol grade ranges from 150 nm to 200 nm. This type includes Shebhe Negin, Ghalamdar, usual Pushal, and weak Pushal.

Bunch (Daste):

Bunch (Daste) (Dokhtar pich) (stigma and 30-50% style) ,Some customers prefer to buy this type which is obtained from completely dry threads of saffron flower. Its length is between 4cm to 6cm. It contains whole yellow and orange threads. Color potency (Crosin content) is less than 150 nm.

Konj (white saffron):

Konj (white saffron) (100% Style), It is the yellow style only and is white and yellow.

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