Saffron, golden-coloured, pungent stigmas (pollen-bearing structures) of the autumn crocus (Crocus sativus), which are dried and used as a spice to flavour foods and as a dye to colour foods and other products. Saffron has a strong, exotic aroma and a bitter taste and is used to colour and flavour many Mediterranean and Asian dishes, particularly rice and fish, and English, Scandinavian, and Balkan breads. Iran is the biggest saffron producer in world.
Early harvesting of saffron has begun in Iran from 25-Sep 2020. It is famous as Nobaraneh Saffron. Its harvest rate is low and can not affect the market situation and pricing. But the main harvest wave starts in mid-October And lasts up to a month. The beginning of saffron harvest depends on the air temperature. Most of buyers are waiting for the new product to be picked up and purchased. The price is not stable yet. There are different prices that show we have increase in saffron price this year.
The process of harvesting saffron
Saffron onion produces a flower every morning and when it is picked up, the next day the plant flowers again and this process continues for up to a month. The farmer must either separate the saffron from the flower and sell it after it dries, or sell it to intermediaries in the local market on the same day.
Statistics show For every 75 to 80 kg of flowers, one kg of dried saffron is produced. In other words, Out of every 150 flowers, one gram of saffron and out of about 147,000 fresh flowers, one kilogram of dried saffron are obtained.
According to the experiences recorded by Iranian experts:
It is worth mentioning that the approximate ratio of flower weight to wet and dry saffron is like 70 to 7 and to 1. On average, one gram of dried saffron is obtained from every 167 flowers (167 cream + 501 stigmas).
The weight ratio of stigmas to saffron is like 6 to 10, which is a little more than half of saffron, but this ratio varies from place to place And the weather, soil type, the amount of fertilizer and flower picking conditions affect the weight of saffron.