Saffron’s coloring power is mainly produced by crocin (chemical composition: C44H64O24), which is one of the few naturally occurring carotenoids easily soluble in water.

This water solubility is one of the reasons for its widely preferred application as a colorant in food and medicine.

In addition to crocin saffron contains aglicon crocetin as a free agent and small amounts of the pigment anthocianin.

There are also oil soluble pigments including alphacarotene, betacarotene and zegxantin. One of the most important parameters in evaluating the quality of saffron is its coloring power, which is determined by measuring by spectrophotometry the amount of coloring factors present at 443 nanometers.
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