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Saffron in Perfumery and Flavors

Posted: February 18, 2008

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Saffron’s characteristic scent and taste are due to many ingredients, including picrocrocin, safranal, carotenoid dye and a-crocin, which imparts a rich golden-yellow hue to food. The spice is used extensively in Asian perfumery, particularly traditional Indian perfumery, where the original “saffron attar” is produced by co-distilling Kashmir saffron with sandalwood. (Safranal also has many medicinal applications.) Saffron is also employed widely in the Middle East, and beginning to find use in Western perfumery. In the West, formulators don’t use the natural product, but rather synthesized safranal.

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