Expensive Spice In World
Saffron (known as Kesar in India) is the most expensive spice in the world. It is produced from the flower is known as Crocus Sativus(botanical name) common name is "saffron crocus".
Because of its expensiveness, Saffron is also known as "Red Gold".
Kesar can be grown anywhere in the world and the cost of saffron depends on the intense labour needed to harvest the crop.The plant is native to Europe and grown in Mediterranean Countries like Spain, Austria, France, Greece, England, Iran and Turkey.
In India, Kesar (saffron) is mainly cultivated in Jammu & Kashmir.Kashmir has the proud privilege to grow saffron.Location in Kashmir where saffron grows is Pampur.
A hundred Kg of fresh flowers yield about three Kilograms of dehydrated stigmas, which constitute the finest and the most expensive saffron, called "Shahi Zafran", The remaining flower parts are processed further to obtain inferior grades called "Mogra Zafran"
Benefits of saffron
Saffron is used in fevers, ayurvedic treatment to heal arthritis, impotence and infertility. It is also used food and commercially in perfumes and cosmetics.
Anti-oxidant properties of saffron have also been isolated and are being studied for use on drugs that will combat cancer, depression and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Storage of Saffron
Crocin and picrocin chemical component of saffron are highly sensitive to light and air, which explains why saffron must be kept in airtight containers and stashed away in a cool, dark place while they are not being used. Exposure to atmospheric oxygen and sunlight will cause oxidation that will greatly reduce the properties of crocin and picrocin, thus lessening the quality of saffron.