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The colouring, scenting, flavouring and medicinal properties of saffron are due to two basic (acting) components: picrocrocin and crocin, especially in the unsweetened parts of them i.e. in the safranal of the first and the crocetin of the latter. Other ingredients of saffron are lycopene, zeaxanthin, α, β and γ-carotenes, vitamin B and B2, carbohydrates and essential oil.
From picrocrocin via enzymatic hydrolysis we get the unsweetend part which in turn is converted to saffranol, the main component of essential oil, that gives saffron its characteristic scent.
From crocin with acid we get the unsweetened part, crocetin, which is the main colouring part of the product. In the market, the percentage of the essential oil and the colouring strength of saffron (which should be as high as possible) basically defines its quality.
Saffron is used in various ways. It is used in pharmacy, confectionery, cooking, cheese-making, distillery, even in painting. Byzantine artists used it considerably.
In popular medicine it is used as a emmenagogue, antispasmodic and stimulant. Many experts argue that in small doses it relieves kidney pains, stimulates the appetite and it facilitates digestion. In addition it limits convulsions, hysterics, nervous colics and whooping cough. Externally it is used to cure pimples, inflamations and breast diseases.
From ancient times, saffron was considered to have aphrodisiac properties. Many authors, Greek mythology, even Old Testament itself, associate saffron with love-making and fertility.
Nowadays, it is still used extensively as a spice in various foods in every economically developed country, especially in Europe.
In India, it is used widely as an icense in religious ceremonies, as well as in painting the mantles of the priests, a custom that ancient Egyptians and Romans also had.
|Product Details:4x0.25g sachets|
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