Posts

What are the effects of saffron?

Saffron is a spice of Crocus sativus (Saffron crocus) which belongs to the family of iridaceae1 and studies has advocates its role in diseases cure. Its health management properties have been discussed in traditional prescriptions including Chinese, Ayurveda and Unani medicines. Different plant parts like peels, fruits, seeds and rind of Crocus sativus contain various biochemically active ingredients such as crocin, crocetin, and safranal in different proportion. These constituents have demonstrated the health promoting effect through the modulation of various biological and physiological processes Earlier studies reported that saffron is safe at various doses and did not show any severe side effects.

Chief ingredients of saffron

Saffron stigma is mixture of various components and such constituents have therapeutics importance in the health management through the modulation of various biological pathways. It contain numerous volatile compounds and ingredients including crocin, picrocrocin and safranal and these compounds are accountable for color, taste and odor of saffron respectively. Safranal is the major coloring constituent of saffron, so saffron is used as a flavoring and coloring agent. In addition to these compounds, saffron also contains little amounts of other pigments like anthocyanin, α-carotene, β- carotene, and zegxantin.

Possible mechanism of action of saffron and its ingredient in diseases prevention

The exact mechanism by which saffron and its constituents demonstrate the therapeutic role in diseases prevention is yet to be fully elucidated. Laboratory based research has revealed that saffron constituents modulate the activity of various enzymes involved in free radical scavenging. Moreover, these components reduce the lipid peroxidation and enhance the antioxidant status. Stigma ethanolic fraction of saffron showed the highest antioxidant activity that might be recognized due to the presence of phenolics and flavonoids.

Anti-tumour activity

It is very well known that medicinal plants such as curcumin, ginger, carica papaya and black seed have therapeutic role in the management of numerous diseases including tumour. Saffron and its active constituents perform an important role in the inhibition of tumour development and progression Table 2.

These days the popularity of alternative medicines based treatment is gaining much interest in the health practice. Saffron has shown its role in disease prevention and treatment and its importance in disease cure have been documented. Moreover, it is believed to be a safe and its adverse effect was not noticed at various doses.

The role of saffron including crocin and crocetin in the management of numerous diseases has proven via modulation of various physiological and biochemical pathways. Saffron has also been reported to exhibit an anti-tumour effect through inactivation or activation of different molecular cascades.

Source:Here

A story of the only saffron farm in Belgium

Halfway between Brussels and Liège, not far from the city of Namur, There is only professional saffron farm in Belgium, called “Le Safran de Cotchia“. The idea of cultivating saffron in Belgium was a gamble of Eric Léonard and his wife, motivated partly by a need to “go back to basics” by working the land. But the farm’s history did not begin with the cultivation of this coveted flower, known as red gold. It is the current chapter of a life in which entrepreneurship and love for the land have always been closely linked.

An entrepreneurial spirit

It all began in 1985, when Eric Leonard and his brother took over their father’s farm, which covered approximately 145 hectares. “At the time, we were growing traditional crops, such as beets and corn. The first CAP reform quickly led us to set part of our fields aside. My brother and I decided to continue to cultivate our land, even if it prevented us from having access to the premiums. That’s when the farm experienced its first diversification, because on those 25 hectares set aside for fallow, we decided to plant blackcurrant. Many people considered us crazy at the time. However, it was a successful gamble, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which drastically reduced prices. From 40 Belgian Francs per kilo, we then went down to 4 Belgian Francs. It was our first big blow,” says Eric Léonard.

After that, the producer decided to embark on a completely different project: to create the first on-farm butchery in Belgium. “At the time, I met my wife, who was trained as a butcher and caterer. Soon, our business grew. We had employees and the butchery was a great success. However, after 19 years of that, we wanted a change and to go back to the land, which we were missing more and more. It was after watching a program about a saffron farm in France that 3 days later, we went there to learn more about it. Afterwards, we brought 1,500 bulbs back to our farm. Although this first attempt was only moderately good, we decided to give up the butcher’s shop to start growing saffron in 2009. Once again, we may have been considered fools.”

Saffron: a sustainable crop with 100% manual labor

The first year, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard brought 150,000 bulbs back to their farm. 11 years later, they were cultivating about 600,000 of them on 2.8 hectares. “The bulbs are normally planted in August. They then flower in October/November. Currently, we are at the end of the flowering period. The leaves then come out and are dried out in April/May. Then, the bulb is multiplied for another flowering in October. In order to prevent the development of diseases, we recommend replanting the bulbs every 3-4 years.”

Saffron does not require any phytosanitary products: “If the soil is sufficiently balanced, there is no need to add inputs. As far as insecticides are concerned, saffron is currently free of pests. We cannot use herbicides, as they would take a toll on the development of the flower. The weeding is first done through thermal burns, and now we are moving on to mechanical weeding. It is important to know that in a saffron farm, everything is done manually or mechanically. Although the ideal soil for the crop is an aerated one with limestone that is easily irrigated, we cultivate the flower on a very heavy, very wet and silty soil, so we can say that saffron adapts to any soil. And we have achieved this by adapting the cultivation techniques to the conditions of the Belgian soil.”

Saffron in Belgium: a product with a still underdeveloped market

Although saffron products have now found their market, Eric Léonard has had to redouble his efforts and bet on innovation to develop his clientele. “Unlike other crops, there is no saffron sector. Saffron growers will therefore have to develop their own customer portfolios. And to do that, in addition to being a good producer, you have to be a good salesperson. Although most of our customers today are renowned chefs and bistros, we had to introduce saffron in Belgium, which was not really known by professionals at the time. It took a huge effort.”

“Moreover, it is difficult to make a living from saffron production alone, so we diversified with the development of a range of derived products such as jams and mustard, as saffron is a formidable flavor enhancer.

Mr. and Mrs. Léonard also seek to promote the use of saffron in the paramedical sector. “Saffron is a very good relaxant. Personally, I use it to help me sleep and it is very effective.

A year complicated by the consequences of the health crisis

Besides selling its products in Belgium and exporting bulbs, the company also makes some income by offering visits to the saffron farm. “Normally, the equivalent of 2 coaches per week visit the saffron farm. Due to Covid-19, we have barely had 2 or 3 coaches since the beginning of the year. This represents a significant loss of turnover. The closure of restaurants for 3 months in Belgium has also caused us to lose 22% of our turnover. Moreover, we fear that the situation will affect us even more during the holiday season, as a large share of our sales is usually carried out in Christmas markets. In order to cut costs, we have started producing on a day-to-day basis, adapting to the demand.

Belgian and French saffron: very different from Moroccan and Iranian saffron


Although saffron cultivation does not originate in France and Belgium, these origins have everything needed to appeal to professionals and consumers. “Belgian or French saffron is very different from Iranian or Moroccan saffron. On our farms, the flower’s pistils are much longer and thicker. It takes about 150 flowers to obtain 1g of saffron in Belgium/France, while 250-300 are needed in Iran and Morocco (Amata: This information is incorrect). Iranian and Moroccan saffron is spicier, more piquant, while Belgian and French saffron has much more aroma.

The French and Belgian production can be sold for about 34,000 Euro per kilo, or 34 Euro per gram. “The production from southern countries is sold at much lower prices, since the labor force is often family-based and therefore cheaper, and this is a major competitive factor.”

Eric Léonard is also investing a lot in educating and raising the awareness of professionals and individuals about saffron cultivation. “On the market, 80% of saffron is fraudulent. There is a lot of fake saffron in circulation and we explain how to avoid being cheated. A simple little test is to take a pistil between your fingers, wet it and then roll it. If your fingers turn yellow, it is indeed saffron!”

—————————————–

For more information:
Eric Léonard
Le Safran de Cotchia 
26, rue de la Waloppe,
4219 Wasseiges, Belgium
Tél. : +32 496 54 54 41

Source: fresh Plaza

Is saffron useful in Cosmetics industry?

Read more

Is Saffron good for depression?

Depression and anxiety are two common mental health problems with high economic and social costs. Currently, a number of treatments are available for patients with depression and anxiety disorders such as psychotherapyelectroconvulsive therapy and antidepressant drugs. Read more

Is Saffron good for liver cancer?

Saffron is the dried stigma of Crocus sativus L. flower which commonly used as a natural remedy to enhance health and even fights disease in the Middle-East and Southeast Asian countries. These include antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antihistamine and memory-boosting effects.

Modern research has provided scientific evidence to support several of these curative assets, and particular attention has been given recently to saffron’s anticancer abilities. Studies have confirmed that saffron can interfere with cancer during initiation and progression and that it has antitumorigenic and proapoptotic activity.

What is liver Cancer?

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the world. Medical evidence has shown that chronic infection with hepatitis B and C are major risk factors for HCC, and exposure to environmental carcinogens, iron overload, fatty liver disease and alcohol abuse can also contribute to development of liver cancer.

“In the fight against cancer, there has been much interest in chemopreventive properties of natural herbs and plants,” said Prof. Amr Amin from United Arab Emirates University. “With limited treatment options, approaches that prevent cancer development are among the best strategies to protect against the disease.” Prior studies have shown that saffron, a naturally derived plant product, possesses antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Saffron is a commonly used spice, adding flavor and color to foods, and a possible cancer-fighting substance that is readily available.

 

Is Saffron good for cancer patient?

New research suggests that saffron provides a significant chemopreventive effect against liver cancer in animal models. When saffron was administered to rats with diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver cancer an inhibition of cell proliferation and stimulation of apoptosis was observed. Full findings appear in the September issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

In order to further explore the potential of saffron in preventing the development and progression of HCC, DEN was used to induce lesions in rats, mimicking benign and malignant tumors in humans. The research team administered saffron to the animals at 75mg/kg, 150 mg/kg, and 300 mg/kg per day two weeks prior to DEN injection and continued the regimen for 22 weeks.

“Our findings suggest that saffron provides an anti-cancer protective effect by promoting cell death (apoptosis), inhibiting proliferation of cancerous cells, and blocking inflammation,” concluded Prof. Amin. “Further investigation of saffron extract and its mechanism of action in HCC is currently underway.”

This study is published in Hepatology. Read more here.

The price of saffron will be increased by 100%

These days, the issue of saffron pricing is hot in Iran. With the start of the new saffron harvest season, the issue of determining the price of saffron has received too much attention. The problems and concerns of farmers in the last one or two years have caused the members of the Iranian Parliament, the Saffron Union and the National Saffron Council to intervene in pricing. In the recent meeting of these representatives, the price of saffron for the new season was determined as follows:

Read more

What is the situation of Iranian saffron exports?

TEHRAN- Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) will hold the meeting of the National Saffron Export Desk this week, a senior official in the organization announced.

According to Mahmoud Bazari, the director-general of TPO’s Export Coordination Office for agro crops and processing industry products, the mentioned meeting is aimed at investigating the ways for the promotion of saffron exports and releasing the reports on the subject by related organizations including Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), Iran Chamber of Cooperatives (ICC), and National Saffron Council, TPO’s Public Relations Department reported on Sunday.

TPO has recently set up a special task force on the trade of saffron.

Underlining the significance of saffron in Iran’s exports, Hamid Zadboum, the head of TPO, has said that his organization has had supporting the exports of this product through offering different incentives a top agenda of its activities since the Iranian calendar year 1380 (March 2001- March 2002).

About 85 percent to 90 percent of Iran’s saffron is produced in the northeastern provinces of North Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi and the eastern province of South Khorasan.

Based on the data released by Iranian Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, Iran earns some $500 million annually by exporting medicinal herbs, of which about $350 million is related to saffron and the rest is the share of other medicinal herbs.

Source: Tehran Times

Forecast the future of saffron market

Saffron is a spice famously known as costliest spice in the world is the bright red color stigma obtained from a flower. Demand for saffron is high as it contains antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, lycopene, a- and ß-carotenes that protect humans from stress, cancers, infections, and also act as immune modulators. In addition it has many therapeutic applications which has increased its demand in the pharmaceutical industry. These properties of saffron are expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.

Read more

News: Treatment of respiratory disease with saffron

These days, medicinal plants have received more attention than chemical drugs due to their lesser side effects. Saffron is one of these medicinal plants. Saffron has countless properties, In addition to seasoning and flavoring saffron, its medicinal properties can also be used a lot.

The effect of saffron on respiratory diseases

Saffron is used to treat many disorders and diseases of the body such as vision. Respiratory diseases such as asthma are also one of the cases that saffron improves.

Asthma is a respiratory disease that causes multiple respiratory attacks, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, especially in the early days and midnight. One of the substances that is effective in reducing asthma is the consumption of substances containing antioxidants. Recent research has shown that increasing the use of antioxidants is very effective in reducing the effects of asthma.

Saffron stigma as one of the known foods has many elements. A lot of studies have been performed to identify various compounds of saffron and so far about 150 active compounds have been identified in saffron, the most important of which are crocin, picrocrocin and safranal; These studies have also shown that saffron is rich in antioxidants and riboflavin. In fact, saffron is a sedative and analgesic. Saffron increases oxygen delivery to various tissues of the body and is therefore anti-inflammatory and relieves cough.

How much is Saffron market size?

One of the important reasons that makes saffron more expensive is its scarcity. Because the supply of goods affects its price and the supply of saffron is limited. All of saffron is almost produce in IRAN near 450 tons per year.  In this article, we want to show you how big the saffron market is and what effect it has on your marketing and sales.

Read more