What is the aroma of saffron?
The characteristic aroma of saffron depends on its volatile oils. These aromatic compounds have healing properties such as analgesic effect on the nerves. Aromatic compounds or in other words, saffron oil essential oils are from the category of terpenes and are present in saffron at a rate of 0.4-1%. In the past, these compounds were separated by distilling saffron with water. Aromatic compounds separated by water distillation are easily oxidized, concentrated and browned. As a result, the method of separating aromatic compounds by distillation with water is not suitable for separating saffron aromatic compounds. Therefore, the essential oil prepared in this way from saffron will have a different aromatic composition from the original aromatic composition of saffron; Therefore, in trade, saffron alcohol tincture is often used instead for aroma and flavoring of food and used in perfumery.
Terpene aldehydes, ie 10-carbon cyclic compounds (such as safranal with the formula c10h14o) (15), make up more than 70% of the total aromatic compounds of saffron. Therefore, safranal is the index of saffron aroma. So far, more than 40 other aromatic compounds such as isofuron, hydroxy, -methyl, -cyclohexane and carboxaldehyde have been identified in saffron.