This article covers the following:
Once people discover the benefits of Saffron, they often ask us the question,
Why isn’t it seen as the ultimate superfood then?
For instance, consider how popular turmeric has become over the past few years. Popping up in every possible recipe, women smearing it all over their faces and even in a range on retail cosmetic products now.
So why isn’t Saffron seen as the ultimate superfood, yet?
If you are in the habit of reading scientific research articles (like us) you will have seen that Saffron is being used for far more health applications than turmeric, but given the fact it requires mass amounts of manual labor for harvesting such high-quality Saffron, could this be the reason for its miss guided popularity?
We are often more than willing to pay the price for something deserving and nothing is more so deserving than premium Saffron. Sadly, with anything of high value, it is open to those who wish to take advantage of the uneducated in order to make a quick buck. This leaves the Saffron trade vulnerable to counterfeit gangs.
What is Counterfeit Saffron?
There are 3 types of fraudulent Saffron to be aware of:
Often, a plant called Safflower is dyed red and sold with the high price tag that genuine Saffron carries. Safflower is a totally different plant species than Crocus Sativus (Saffron Plant) and has 0 of the health benefits Saffron is reported to have. So often we see pictures online of ‘Saffron’ being sold and the threads are clearly thistle-like in texture. THIS IS NOT SAFFRON.
Another form of fraudulent Saffron is when low grades of Saffron are mixed with alternative ingredients and sold as a high premium product.
Lastly and probably less known is the miss-leading Saffron origins. With Iran being the biggest producer of Saffron, yet with numerous trade sanctions in place, a way around it is to send the Saffron to few select European countries and use them to repackage and distribute it.
The problem with the last type of fraud is when certain European countries are then accused of producing fake Saffron, as reported in The Times paper in 2019.
Here it shows that this issue is right on our Nation’s doorstep.
We know the British public loves a good bargain (let's face it who doesn’t) but to the tune of £750,000 of fake saffron being sold in Sussex, us brits do not take kindly to being dupped.
The impact of Saffron fraud on genuine Saffron producers.
Like within the fashion industry we know buying knock-off counterfeit merchandise is heavily frowned upon as it takes away profits from the original designers. And we all know this isn’t fair.
But with the case of Saffron fraud it’s much worse than that for 2 main reasons.
Not only are consumers often unaware they are buying counterfeit Saffron sold at a premium price they also receive none of the health benefits associated with the spice. This then often leaves a bitter perception in the consumer's minds around Saffron, thinking it’s not worth the high price tag.
But most importantly Saffron Fraud takes away profits from those who painstaking produce top quality genuine Saffron and those who suffer the most, live in Third World Countries and who are just trying their best to make an honest, healthy living,
…yet each time someone buys counterfeit Saffron they deny them of that.
Be a wise Saffron consumer
Lots of love
from the Kings Advocate.