Saffron Crocus, quality and fraud in New York Times

_PHH2244SaffronStigmasPDOjarsProducts.jpgElaine Sciolino discusses saffron in the New York Times. Saffronomics partners Jean Thiercelin and Pat Heslop-Harrison are quoted, with the outcome of the project in developing methods to detect fraud and measure quality. In the article, the special qualities of saffron are discussed and many examples of the use in sweet and savoury foods explain the value in cooking. The high price encourages fraud and mis-labelling, but even at 20 Euro’s ($20, £15) a gram, the cost per serving is still not so great. Our work on the lack of genetic diversity in saffron and its relationships to wild crocus  was published in 2015 in Annals of Botany: this lack of diversity means that DNA-marker tests can be used to identify plant-based contamination but not the origin of saffron nor adulteration with dyes.

The full article is here http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/dining/saffron-iran.html

 

 

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About Pat Heslop-Harrison

Professor of Molecular Cytogenetics and Cell Biology, University of Leicester Chief Editor, Annals of Botany. Research: genome evolution, breeding and biodiversity in agricultural species; the impact of agriculture; evalutation of research and advanced training.
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