Saffron is a known medicine, spice as well as a dye. It has a near-magical existence in the hearts of people, the reason for that being: It has been known for at least 3,000 years or perhaps for much longer, but it does not reproduce on its own – unlike most other plants, it needs human intervention to be grown. It is the most expensive food additive in World. The following are some reasons why It is so expensive.
Why is Saffron expensive?
- Saffron comes from a flower called ” crocus”. And each flower has three red stigmas which are Saffron, this has to be harvested by handpicking, a very difficult and time-consuming task. The chances that every flower delivers a perfect product are slim. Each flower only produces 3 stigmas, So it will take about 75,000 crocus flowers to make a pound. Therefore we can say one reason for its costliness is its harvesting.
- The yield of saffron is really low and requires a lot of labor for harvesting as the flower has to be harvested on the same day it blooms as this delicate flower wilts almost immediately.
- The process of plucking the flowers takes at least six hours a day, as for 454 grams of dried saffron, 75000 flowers are required. The plucking process is also not easy, as the flowers grow only six inches off the ground, so bending for 6 hours becomes difficult for every person involved in the process.
- Growing saffron is not easy. It grows and thrives in extreme temperatures. Both cold and hot, so even a tiny variation in the climate can affect its growth. It grows well in areas that have cold Winters and warm, dry Summers.
- Saffron contains some chemical components. These components are used for many medical purposes. They are very expensive like picrocrocin, crocin, and safranal. Which are the main components or compounds that are responsible for the taste and color and smell of saffron.
- Saffron requires a special type of soil for its growth. The soil should be well-drained and must have the attribute to not accumulate moisture.
- Saffron flower for its growth needs very precise rainfall at exactly the time when the corms are coming to life under the soil and no precipitation or rainfall once the flowers have bloomed.
- New studies suggest that Saffron has many medical properties which are unique. Many important chemicals can be derived from Its extracts that can help reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and PMS.
Now from all the above-mentioned reasons it is very easy to understand that for a small bottle of saffron how much effort and work is needed, besides the geographically strict conditions it grows in and the small amount of yield it produces. We should appreciate this spice more. And despite it being expensive we should not opt for cheaper alternatives, authentic saffron is very good for our body and has many benefits, we should at least once try this unique and good spice, beside an ounce will last you a long time, so it’s 100 percent worth the buy.