Investigation of Physicochemical Properties and Microbial Contamination of Saffron Style

Document Type : Original Article



Saffron flower (Crocus sativus) is one of the most precious spices in the world. In this respect, the
saffron style samples were gathered from the farms of Torbat-Heidariyeh located in South Khorasan
province during one year and their preparation was performed based on the common manufacturing
standards. Then, in order to considering the international and national standards for saffron and spices
evaluation of the desired properties of saffron style was investigated which included the moisture
content, total ash, in acid insoluble ash, the cold water soluble extract, recognition of the color
additives and the power of color, total counts of micro-organisms, the form and mold, Escherichia
coli, Clostridium perfringens, sulfite-reducing clostridium, and enterococcus based on physicochemical
and microbial. It was found that the tested physicochemical properties of saffron style such as
the total ash, the acid insoluble ash, the cold water soluble extract, recognition of the color additives,
and the power of the color were in lower grade than the stigma. The level of Crocin, Picrocrocin, and
Safranal available in the saffron style along with stigma were in different amount amounts and very
how compared to the style. The style moisture was the only factor which its amount in stigma was
greater than style. Statistically, the tests of moisture content, total ash, the acid insoluble ash, and the
cold water soluble extract had a significant difference (p<0.05). Furthermore, the recognition tests
of the color additives was completely negative in all trials in which a significant difference (p<0.05)
was observed in the power of color test using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer (Crocin, Picrocrocin, and
Safranal). In addition, the microbial contamination of samples was investigated and it showed that the
factors of intestinal enterococcus, Escherichia coli, the spores of sulfite-reducing anaerobes (clostridia),
clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus cereus were negative, while the mold and yeast, coli-form
and total count of micro-organisms were in a higher range compared with the microbial negative
factors and had a statistical significant difference (p<0.05).