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THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPICE IN THE WORLD

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THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPICE IN THE WORLD. From $500 to $5,000 per lb. Saffron. Crocus Sativus. Thrives where hot and dry summer breezes sweep semi-arid lands. Survive cold winters, as low as −10 °C  and short periods of snow cover. Grow best in full sunlight. . The Plains of La Mancha.

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slide1

THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPICE IN THE WORLD

From $500 to $5,000 per lb

slide5

Thrives where hot and dry summer breezes sweep semi-arid lands.

Survive cold winters, as low as −10 °C and short periods of snow cover.

Grow best in full sunlight.

slide7

Generous spring rains and drier summers are optimal.

  • Rain immediately preceding flowering boosts saffron yields
  • Rainy or cold weatherduring
  • flowering promotes disease and reduces yields.
  • Dormant through summer
  • Buds early autumn.
slide10

Mid-autumn flowering.

  • Harvestsare by necessity a speedy affair: after blossoming at dawn, flowers quickly wilt as the day passes.
  • Plants bloom within a window of 1 or 2 weeks.
slide13

40 hours labour to pick

150,000 flowers.

50,000–75,000 flowers = 1 lb dry saffron

the equivalent of a football pitch

slide16

Saffron contains more than 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds

Documentation over 4,000 years -

used to treat some 90 illnesses

Remedies, Magical Potions, Dyes, Perfumes, Body washes, Potpourris, Mascaras, Ointments, Woven in Textiles, Divine offerings, and Medical treatments.

slide18

HEALTH PROPERTIES

  • Cancer-Suppressing
  • Mutation-Preventing
  • Stimulates The Immune System
  • Antioxidant-Like Properties. 
  • Helpful For Depression. 
  • Protect Eyes From Bright Light & Retinal Stress
  • Slows Down Macular Degeneration 
  • For Wounds, Cough, Colic, And Scabies
slide20

From 14th century, Spain exported the BEST quality saffron in the world.

In the past, cultivated over a remarkably large surface area.

1970,s = world´s largest producer 6000 hectares.

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Total acreage under cultivation has since decreased to less than 100 hectares.

  • In spite of the rapid decline,
  • a few hundred Spanish farmers passionately sustain this labour intensive cottage industry.
slide25

Cleopatra used saffron in her baths so that lovemaking would be more pleasurable.

Alexander the Great used Persian saffron in his infusions, rice, and baths as a curative for battle wounds

slide26

Supposedly saffron is grown in Kashmir, principallyto offer it to the Buddha.

Buddhist monks wear saffron-coloured robes;

however, the robes are not dyed with

costly saffron but turmeric

slide28

13th C trade: subject to mass piracy.

Mediterranean Pirates would ignore gold & Jewellery and instead steal saffron bound

for Europe.

The 14 week "Saffron War"

800lbsaffron hijacked by nobles. 

(today valued more than $500,000)

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Fear of rampant saffron piracy spurred other countries to cultivate.

Basle became RICH.

Spread through England.

Especially Norfolk and Suffolk.

In Essex Saffron Walden, emerged as England's prime saffron growing and trading centre.

slide30

SPAIN

SAFFRON TODAY

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International Organization for Standardization

  • Graded By Laboratory Measured For
  • Crocin (Colour),
  • Picrocrocin (Taste),
  • Safranal (Fragrance)

Grades: IV (Poorest), III, II, And I

Finest Quality no more than

0.5 Per Cent Of “Floral Waste”.

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2009 Saffron Production

Iran: 300 tons (97% of world production)

Kashmir: 6 tons

Greece: 5 tons

Azerbaijan: 3.70 tons

Spain: 1 ton

Morocco: 0.8 ton.

Italy: 100 kg

Turkey: 10 kg

France: 4kg

Switzerland : 1 kg

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KashmiriSaffron

Rarely available outside India.

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COUNTERFEIT SAFFRON

  • Typical methods mixing with:
  • Beets,
  • Pomegranate fibres,
  • Red-dyed silk fibres,
  • Saffron crocus's tasteless yellow stamens.
  • Also dousing fibres with
  • honey or vegetable oil.
slide35

Powdered saffron is more prone to adulteration…..

Turmeric, Paprika, etc

As well as

fraudulent

mislabelling.

slide36

2010 - 190,000 kilos of saffron exports

netted £40 million.

Local production = 1,500 kilos.

Remainder poor-quality imports from Iran, Morocco and Greece.

Spain….Major importer countries of Iran’s saffron.

Barely one per cent of saffron labelled as Spanish is actually grown in the country.