How is saffron dried ?
To store saffron for a long time, it must be dried. An important point in the evaluation of saffron is the method of drying it, because saffron is produced during drying due to the hydrolysis of body compounds, crocin and the release of safranal.
Saffron is usually dried in various ways, including: traditional Iranian, Spanish and industrial methods.
Types of drying methods
- Traditional method in Iran: In this method, saffron is stored in the shade of the room at room temperature and hot and dry for 8 to 12 days. In this method, the growth and multiplication conditions of microorganisms and due to the increase in contamination and long drying time, may reduce the staining power due to the activity of its enzymes.
- In the Spanish method, saffron is exposed to indirect heat for half to one hour on silk nets or sieves at a temperature of about 50 to 60 degrees Celsius. Thus, the color of this saffron is more desirable than the traditional method or drying in the open air, and fungal contamination is limited by this method.
- Industrial method In this method, drying systems are performed based on three types of operations.
- Air transfer drying: In this method, the product is exposed to hot air directly. In fact, saffron is placed in drying tunnels.
- Conveyor dryers
- Dryers under vacuum conditions: These dryers are used for materials whose high heat causes the destruction of their active ingredients.
How is saffron dried
You are recommended to read the article in front of you ⇒ How to Grow Saffron Plants
What are the points to observe when drying saffron?
- The drying time of the product should be short. The best time from the separation stage to drying should not be more than 24 hours.
- Heat should be used uniformly and indirectly at about 60 ° C to dry saffron.
- Finally, the moisture content of saffron at the end of this stage should not be more than 10%.
How to dry saffron at home in the traditional way?
People believe that the golden color of saffron is obtained from thick yarns and its pleasant aroma is due to the pale yarns of saffron.
Saffron yarns can be attributed to saffron cream and stigmas that have been dried by traditional or industrial methods. Saffron is usually dried at home using traditional methods, through a home dryer and other common methods.
Drying in the traditional way
After harvesting saffron, which is harvested in the first hours of the day or before sunrise before the saffron is opened, the bud-shaped flowers are placed in a suitable container and cleaned with dry, clean and hygienic hands.
This stage is actually the first stage of product processing, which is very important because saffron is prepared for drying and consumption. It should be noted that the flowers should be removed from the stigma quickly because saffron is very sensitive, it decays quickly and its value is lost.
Sometimes the stigmas may take on the color of pollen due to contact with the flag, and removing them will damage the stigmas and reduce the value of saffron.
The stigma or so-called common root of saffron should be completely separated from the petals. This step must be done carefully and quickly so that the quality of saffron is not lost.
If you do not have the opportunity to separate saffron, it is better to place it in a cool place away from light to prevent saffron spoilage.
How is saffron dried
You are recommended to read the article in front of you ⇒ Saffron properties
Each stigma must be separated from the petals and flag at the same time. Place the open roots on a sieve or wire mesh with a cotton cloth and spread them outdoors in the shade to dry gradually.
Saffron should be in a place away from pollution and dry and cool to maintain its quality.
It should be noted that in this method, saffron dries in 8 to 12 days. If dried saffron is stored in glass containers away from heat and in a cool place, its color and aroma will be more.
Drying with dryers that have electric heaters, fans, thermostats to control temperature and hygrometers accelerates the drying process of saffron and prevent spoilage or contamination of stigmas, and in this method the stigma is less likely than the traditional method.
How is saffron dried
Some people use sieves, heaters, electric ovens, microwaves, solar dryers, freeze dryers and vacuum dryers to accelerate the drying process of saffron roots to ensure that the work is of good quality and away from microbial contamination.
Today, it is recommended that farmers use the above methods or the Spanish method to dry saffron.