How saffron quality is graded
The Krocus Kozanis Cooperative operates under externally audited inspection and its quality processes are accredited to the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Standard.
Saffron quality varies throughout the world and is graded according to laboratory measurements under ISO 3632* for characteristics such as crocin (colour), picrocrocin (taste) and safranal (fragrance) content.
*The International Organisation for standardisation (ISO) has a standard known as ISO 3632 TS which deals exclusively with the testing of saffron world-wide. Our saffron samples from each harvest are measured through spectrophotometry at certified testing laboratories worldwide. The most important test criteria is the colour (crocin) strength grade, which enables quality comparisons to be made between different saffron producers across the world. Currently, Krocus Kozanis saffron is tested at the Agricultural University of Athens.
Krocus Kozanis has Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status with total annual production varying between 1,500 and 3,000 kilograms, of which 40% is certified organic.
Colour grades range from absorbances less than 120 = category III saffron up to absorption rates of over 200, for Category I saffron. The world’s finest samples receive absorbance scores in excess of 250 and the market prices of saffron are based directly on these ISO crocin scores. The 2016 Krocus Kozanis saffron harvest is once again of extremely high quality. The ISO 3632 laboratory results speak for themselves with the non organic crocin (colouring strength) score of 275 and organic, 272.
Copies of the ISO 3632 laboratory reports from the Agricultural University of Athens [tested December 2016] are available here.