These of course, are good news, especially because only a little dose of saffron seems to be needed to obtain these beneficial effects. Unfortunately, such wonderful news come accompanied by a two very negative side effects:
First, more bad and even adulterated saffron will keep coming into the US market and all of it from Spain. Indeed, as demand increases, so will the greediness of unscrupulous packers. As you can read on my previous post, I sent several samples of saffron for testing a US laboratory and all came back with artificial colorants, one of which is banned by FDA for use in the US.
The second effect, and this is really disturbing, is that more people are likely to consume this adulterated saffron and more frequently. At best, these people may just be wasting their money; at worst, they may find themselves ingesting allergenic colorants and worse. Considering that many of these persons may already have health issues, the cure they seek may actually put them at risk: for instance, saffron is sometimes recommended to relieve asthma, but Ponceau 4R (which we found in at least one sample) may intensify asthma sympots.
So, what can you do to benefit from saffron and avoid these risks?
First, request a laboratory report from your purveyor every time you purchase saffron.
Don't rely on price: adulteration comes with high and low prices alike.
In view of the health news, there will be lots of companies trying to sell you "saffron". Again, ask for a lab report and don't trust anybody, even if they have been in business a hundred years selling saffron. The cheating is rampant.
Whether you are an indivual consumer or an industrial user, make sure your saffron is laboratory tested in the US. Certified Laboratories, Inc. does the HPLC Analysis for added colors for $150.00 . http://www.certified-laboratories.com/
At this time, only Iranian saffron can be trusted, but again, make sure you get a laboratory report, not only from the country of origion, but from a US lab.
If you have any questions about saffron quality and culinary applications, please contact us. If you want to use it for medical purposes, consult your health provider first. Then come to us to get pure saffron, Kosher certified and US laboratory tested
Below are some sites where you can find information about the health benefits of saffron: