Saffron Quality Control

Procedures of Equipment’s and Establishment of Saffron Packaging Workshop

The purpose of publishing these work procedures is presenting the principles which considering them in process of preparation and packaging of the saffron would cause safe supply of the product. Also, it would be a guide for the producing units and the people who are responsible for health control and supervision of the food products.  And it is applicable for different kind of saffron that would be supplied and sent to the market, for all purposes, especially food products after going through the preparation and packaging processes.

In the first section of these work procedures, the specification of installing, operating and packaging of saffron, building facilities including required space, specification of the halls, quality control laboratories, warehouses, sanitary facilities, and the individual health of the staff of these workshops as well as determine the technical.

In the other section the work procedures and the packaging process of saffron and specialties of each stage has been investigated.  The diagram of saffron packaging according to these work procedures is shown in table two.

Standard and Method of Saffron Sampling The purpose of writing this standard is presenting the system of sampling the saffron especially for

Sampling of packaged saffron.  In this standard, after defining the terms and the expressions, the system of packaging has been described.  This standard, numbered 3659, has been published by the   Iran Standard and Research Institute.

  1. Saffron Characteristics:

The assurance of the quality of the saffron is application of the related standards .For saffron that has a high price for a small amount, consideration of the related standards cannot be avoided.   The Iran Institute for Industrial Research and Standards has arranged the following standards: The objective of publishing these standards is determining the specification, packaging, labeling, Sampling and methods of examining the saffron and it is applicable for string cut and powder saffron.  In this standard, after defining the terms and expressions that are used, the required specification of saffron has been mentioned, and has been published on number 259-l of National Iranian Standard, with the topic of ‘Saffron – Specifications’, by Iran Institute for Industrial Research and Standard.

  1. Methods of Saffron Examination:

The objective of publishing this standard is maintaining convenient systems of testing saffron, which is obtained from (Crocus sativus) plant and is Applied in powder and cut string form.

In this standard, in addition to presenting and describing the general tests such as, measuring the Humidity and the volatile fragments, ash and ashes not being solved in acid, saffron recognition, microscopic test of saffron powder, recognition of non-admitted ingredients, determining the percent of external ingredients, concentrate solvent in water and raw fiber, method of measuring the specifications of the saffron (picko-corrosion, saffratal, and corrosion) by spectrophotometer System. This standard issue numbered 259-2 has published under the topic of ‘saffron – Methods of Examination).

  1. Microbe Specification and Methods of Examination:

This system is applicable for microbe Specifications of whole string, cut string, and powder saffron for internal use and exports.

Considering the different production process of saffron, such as, pick up and collection of the flowers from the farms in spring, flower transportation, tuft separation, drying, preparing and final Packaging is generally done manually, which make the microbe tests of saffron quite necessary and Requires careful attention in order to prevent the initial and secondary microbe infections.

According to this standard the microbe specification of saffron must accord with the chart (l) which has published under the topic of “microbe specification of saffron and the methods of examination”, number 5689 of the Iran Industrial Standard and Research Institute.

                                TABLE  (1) – MICROBE SPECIFICATION OF

                                                    S A F F R O N

Kind of Microorganism Maximum Authorized No.

in each Gram

Method of Testing
General Counting of 5×104 According to 5272 Ir. Strd.
Colliform 10 According to 437 Ir. Strd.
Ashirshiakly 0 According to 2946  Strd
Cholostridom Perfern Janss 0 According to 2197  Strd
Mold 10  


  1. The Procedures of Collecting Saffron:

The objective of writing these procedures is organizing a proper method for collecting and preparing saffron. In this procedures after presenting the required terms and expressions, the process saffron performance and collecting including

Time of collecting, the collector, transition and transportation of flower, separation of tuft/ (sigma) Proper way of drying and keeping the saffron has been offered.  This manner of work has been published by the Iran Standard and Research Institute of Iran, issue number 5230.

This job regulation is for applying the HACP system from the time of collecting saffron until packaging:  The objective of this work procedure (job regulation) is offering a system for analyzing the risks and Critical periods of controlling, from the collecting period until packaging of saffron. In this standard after defining the terms and expressions, the procedures of the risk analyzing and controlling the Critical points, including formation of group, description of the product, consumer group, the Table of work procedure, ways of analyzing the risks, determining the critical control, stability and the correcting operations have been defined.  The table of work performance, control of the critical Points (CCP) and the control points (CP), from the time of collecting until packaging of saffron, has been shown according to this work procedures.

Materials of Packaging 

Delivery of packaging supplies (CP)

Preparing and investigating the Packaging supplies (CCP)






Flower Transportation and Transition


Separation of Tuft


Drying of Saffron


Preserving the Saffron (CCP)


Transporting the Saffron to the Packaging Unit


Sampling and Test=>lack of conformity=> returning the product




Delivery=> Storage


=>Transporting to the Warehouse<=


Inspecting and Sorting=>Warehouse (CCP)


Delivery for Weighing





|(CP) Sampling and Testing the Final Product=>unconformity=>Return




Release (sell)

Chart (l) – Diagram of transaction, the critical controlling points from collecting to packaging

l. CP = Controlling points