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Evaluation of quality parameters in the saffron from Jiloca (Teruel)

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Authors: J.M. Álvarez, C. Mallor
Issue: 105-1 (61-66)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Crocin, picrocrocin, safranal, Crocus sativus L.

Evaluation of quality parameters in the saffron from Jiloca (Teruel) Saffron is a spice made with the dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L. The quality of saffron is defined by its contents on crocetin esters as responsible of its colour component, picrocrocin and safranal, responsible for its bitter flavour and aroma respectively. In this paper, the variation of these three components in saffrons from different origin and drying methods was assessed. The significantly highest crocin content was observed in saffron from the Jiloca (Teruel, Spain), when traditionally dried. This saffron also showed the highest values of ?Epic directly correlated with picrocrocin contents. E327 values are an estimation of safranal content, and also these values were the highest for a group of saffrons that included the one coming from the Jiloca region. These results are attributed to different soil and climate conditions as well as to the differences in the drying process; this would explain that the saffron from the Jiloca region, traditionally processed, shows some quality characteristics that can distinguish it from other saffrons. This could support the creation of a specific official distinction for the Jiloca saffron.

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