The ISO standard is an analysis which gives strength in flavour (picrocrocin), aroma (safranal) and coloring (crocin). The indicative values ​​of these strengths are without units as for an organoleptic analysis. The ISO measurement is therefore a simple and inexpensive means of analyzing the characteristics of a batch of saffron to classify it in categories 1, 2 or 3, or even allow comparisons between batches of producers.

The strengths are measured by UV-visible spectrophotometry on aqueous extracts of saffron. The diagram below is a UV spectrogram which shows that the peak related to safranal is weak and poorly resolved. This is linked to the fact that safranal is not purified as part of the ISO test procedure.

It is therefore understandable that the ISO measurement of the aroma strength is not an accurate measurement of the safranal content in units of mass.

However, if saffron is intended to be used as an ingredient in cosmetic products or as a food supplement, the precise dosage of safranal must be determined to avoid exceeding the legal thresholds for saffron

This is why the ANASCAN Laboratory also offers the mass ratio determination of safranal by gas chromatography. See below:

To assay the safranal (in mass ratio) contained in your saffron by gas chromatography method, please e-mail us for a quote.