Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Agriculture

1 Issue per year

Covered by: Elsevier - SCOPUS
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2391-9531
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Quality traits of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) produced in the Italian Alps

Annamaria Giorgi
  • Centre for Applied Studies in the Sustainable Management and Protection of the Mountain Environment-Ge.S.Di.Mont.- University of Milan, Via Morino 8, 25048 Edolo, Brescia, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Daniela Pentimalli
  • Corresponding author
  • Centre for Applied Studies in the Sustainable Management and Protection of the Mountain Environment-Ge.S.Di.Mont.- University of Milan, Via Morino 8, 25048 Edolo, Brescia, Italy
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luca Giupponi
  • Centre for Applied Studies in the Sustainable Management and Protection of the Mountain Environment- Ge.S.Di.Mont.- University of Milan, Via Morino 8, 25048 Edolo, Brescia, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sara Panseri
  • Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety (VESPA)-University of Milan, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-02-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0005

Abstract

Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is a perennial herbaceous geophyte in the Iridaceae family. It propagates vegetatively by corm. All saffron production processes are generally conducted by hand: from bulb implantation, harvesting of flowers to stigma separation. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world because of the intensive hand labour required for production. The increasing interest in Crocus sativus cultivation and production in the Italian Alpine area could increase revenues for the rural farming economy. Twenty eight dried saffron samples were collected from different farmers of the Italian Alpine area (Lombardia, Trentino Alto Adige, Piemonte and Veneto) between November 2015 and March 2016. Each sample was processed to determine their moisture content and amount of picrocrocin, crocins and safranal using the methods established by the International Organization for Standardization for saffron (ISO 3632 1,2:2010-2011). Over 82.1 % of the samples analyzed were ranked in the highest quality category of the ISO 3632. A high quality saffron product can be produced in the Italian Alpine area suggesting that this crop could serve as a sustainable source of economic revenues to diversified farms in the Alps.

Keywords: Saffron; Crocus sativus L.; ISO 3632 1,2:2010-2011; picrocrocin; crocins; safranal; UV-Vis Spectrophotometry; Alps

References

  • Abdullaev F.I. Cancer chemopreventive and tumoricidal properties of saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2002, 227, 20-25Google Scholar

  • Aeschimann D., Lauber K., Moser D.M. & Theurillat J.-P. Flora Alpina. Haupt Verlag, Bern, Stuttgart, Wien, 2004Google Scholar

  • Akhondzadeh S., Tahmacebi-Pour N., Noorbala A., Amini H., Fallah-Pour H., Jamshidi A., et al. Crocus sativus L. in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: A double-blind, randomized and placebo controlled trial. Phytotheraphy Research, 2005, 19, 148-151Google Scholar

  • Carmona M., Zalacain A., Pardo J.E., Alvarruiz A., and Alonso G.L. Influence of different drying and aging conditions on saffron constituents. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2005, 53, 3974-3979Google Scholar

  • Giorgi A., Bertoni D., Manzo A., Panseri S. L’oro Rosso delle Alpi. Biblion Edizioni, 2015Google Scholar

  • Giorgi A. and Scheurer T. Alpine Resources: Assets for a Promising Future-Conclusions from the Forum Alpinum 2014. Mountain Research and Development, 2015, 35(4), 414-415CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Gregory M.J., Menary R.C. and Davies N.W. Effect of drying temperature and air flow on the production and retention of secondary metabolites in saffron. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2005, 53, 5969-5975Google Scholar

  • Gresta F., Avola G., Lombardo G.M., Siracusa L., Ruberto G. Analysis of flowering, stigmas yield and quantitative traits of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) as affected by environmental conditions. Scientia Horticulturae, 2009, 119, 320-324Google Scholar

  • He S.Y., Qian Z.Y., Tang F. T., Wen N., Xu G. L., & Sheng L. Effect of crocin on experimental atherosclerosis in quails and its mechanisms. Life Science, 2005, 77(8), 907-921Google Scholar

  • He S.Y., Qian Z.Y., Wen N., Tang F.T., Xu G.L., & Zhou C.H. Influence of crocetin on experimental atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemicdiet quails. European Journal of Pharmacology, 2007, 554(2-3), 191-195.Google Scholar

  • Kianbakht S., & Mozaffari K. Effects of saffron and its active constituents, crocin and safranal on prevention of indomethacin induced gastric ulcers in diabetic and nondiabetic rats. Journal of Medicinal Plants, 2009, 8(5), 30-38Google Scholar

  • Lage M., Cantrell C.L. Quantification of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) metabolites crocins, picrocrocin and safranal for quality determination of the spice grown under different environmental Moroccan conditions. Scientia Horticulture, 2009, 121, 366-373Google Scholar

  • Maggi L., Carmona M., Zalacain A., Kanakis C.D., Anastasaki E., Tarantilis P.A., Polissiou M.G., Alonso G.L. Changes in saffron (8), 1192-1199 volatile profile according to its storage time. Food Research International, 2010, 43: 1329-1334Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Manzo A., Panseri S., Bertoni D., Giorgi A. Economic and qualitative traits of Italian Alps saffron. Journal of Mountain Science, 2015, 12(6), 1542-1550Google Scholar

  • Melnyk J.P., Wang S., Marcone M.F. Chemical and biological properties of the world’s most expensive spice: Saffron. Food Research International, 2010, 43, 1981-1989CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Nabavizadeh F., Salimi E., Sadroleslami Z., Karimian S. M., & Vahedian J. Saffron (Crocus sativus) increases gastric acid and pepsin secretions in rats: Role of nitric oxide (NO). African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2009, 3(5), 181-184Google Scholar

  • Pardo J.E., Zalacain A., Carmona M., Lopez E., Alvarruiz A. and Alonso G.L. Influence of the type of dehydration process on the sensory properties of saffron spice. Ital J. Food Sci., 2002, 14, 413-422Google Scholar

  • Zheng S.G., Qian Z.Y., Tang F.T., & Sheng L. Suppression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression by crocetin contributes to attenuation of atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Biochemical Pharmacology, 2005, 70(8), 1192-1199Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2016-12-01

Accepted: 2017-01-13

Published Online: 2017-02-17

Published in Print: 2017-02-01


Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 52–57, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0005.

Export Citation

© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in