Prepared at the 29th JECFA (1985), published in FNP 34 (1986) and in FNP 52 (1992). Metals and arsenic specifications revised at the 59th
JECFA (2002). Regarded as food ingredient rather than food additive at 29th JECFA (1985)
SYNONYMS Crocus, French Saffron, Spanish Saffron, Safraan, Keshar, CI Natural Yellow 6, C.I. (1975) No. 75100
DEFINITION Saffron is the dried stigma of flowers of Crocus sativus L.
Chemical names The main colouring matters are crocin: 8,8'-diapocarotene-8,8'-dioic acid bis (6-O-ß-D-glucopyranosyl-D-glucopyranosyl ester, and crocetin: 8,8'-diapocarotene-8,8'-dioic acid.
C.A.S. number 42553-65-1 (Crocin) 27876-94-4 (Crocetin)
Chemical formula C44H64O24 (Crocin) C20H24O4 (Crocetin)
Formula weight 976.70 (Crocin) 328.41 (Crocetin)
Assay Saffron normally contains between 4-6% crocin and crocetin, as specified by the vendor.
DESCRIPTION Golden yellow or brown powder, filaments or cake; characteristic odour. Information is required on methods of analysis for ash insoluble in dilute HCl, and water insoluble matter.
FUNCTIONAL USES Colour, flavouring agent