How to Identify Real Saffron

Saffron is an expensive ingredient and obviously people see money by selling the fake saffron. With no machines to check the genuineness, How would you differentiate Pure Saffron from the Fake Saffron?


Here are some of the ways by which you can easily identify the pure saffron:
  • If you put a saffron thread/strand in your mouth and if it tastes sweet…. IT’s FAKE


  • Another very very distinct way of identifying is the aroma. But what about the aroma? One should know the aroma to decide whether its right or not.
    Pure saffron aroma is very interesting. If u know what Honey smells like, and you also know what hay smells like…you would know what Real Saffron Aroma is. It is literally a blend of Hay and Honey smells.


  • Put Saffron in water. In some time, it will color the water. But what’s the big deal, so can the fake one. However when you take the thread our of water, it wouldn’t have lost its original color, whereas if is fake, it would completely lost its added color, and wouldn’t look the same.


  • It’s very simple. All you need to do is ask the vendor for 3 or 4 threads of saffron which you put on your tongue and suck on for a few seconds. You then spit the threads out onto a clean tissue and rub them inside the tissue. If they color it yellow, you know you are buying real saffron. If they color it red, you are being sold colored threads that have nothing to do with saffron.


  • A very interesting test is to add a little baking soda in water and mix it. Then add saffron to the mixture. The water/baking soda mix shall turn yellow if its Pure Saffron
    The fake one will turn dim red.


One of the most interesting Mantras for saffron is to use the word Sweet correctly.
Good saffron should always Smell Sweet and never Taste Sweet.