BAPP enters eighth ‘decade’ of published documents with saffron bulletin

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags saffron Research Adulterant Adulteration BAPP

The Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program has published its 71st publication, the director of the program said recently at the Expo West trade show recently.

Stefan Gafner, PhD told NutraIngredients-USA that the new bulletin on saffron adulteration was published while the trade show, which takes place annually in Anaheim, CA, was in progress last week.  BAPP is cooperative venture of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi, with the American Botanical Council, of which Gafner is also the chief science officer, as managing partner.

Saffron is one of the oldest botanical ingredients, with references in Assyrian botanical texts dating to the seventh century BCE.  It is often regarded as the world’s most expensive spice.  Saffron is first and foremost used in cooking, but also has uses as a dietary ingredient in the supplement trade.  It has been studied most recently for boosts in mood and general quality of life​.

Tiny source by weight

The ingredient consists of tiny tendril like stigmas (called saffron ‘threads’) taken from Crocus sativus​ flowers.  The fact that only the tiniest fraction of the whole plant is used taken together with the fact that the tendrils must be harvested by hand and handled carefully accounts for the astronomical cost, which can approach $5,000 a kilo.  

“That invites people to try to cheat by adding for example safflower or calendula petals that have the same color,” ​Gafner said. “We also learned that powdered saffron is sometimes diluted with paprika or turmeric powder.”

Gafner said the new document lays out the latest information on what kind of adulteration is taking place.  It also gives pricing information, which can help suppliers spot ingredients that are offered at suspiciously low rates.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

The Art of Organic Certification

The Art of Organic Certification

Content provided by FoodChain ID | 23-Oct-2023 | White Paper

The organic food market has experienced remarkable growth over the past decade, providing a major opportunity for food brands and manufacturers to tap...

New Study for Female Athletes

New Study for Female Athletes

Content provided by Gencor | 17-Oct-2023 | Product Brochure

In a recent clinical trial backing its ingredient Libifem® for improved muscle strength, power, endurance and body composition with a females-only popluation...



Content provided by Indena | 03-Oct-2023 | White Paper

Indena focused on achieving an optimized delivery and formulation of the Melissa officinalis’s phytonutrients: Relissa™, Melissa Phytosome™. The ingredient...

Are You Ready? Curcumin for the Cold Season

Are You Ready? Curcumin for the Cold Season

Content provided by Theravalues Corporation | 22-Sep-2023 | Clinical Study

Have you prepared for the season? According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the cold season starts as early as late August.

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more