Does Saffron Go Bad?

Does saffron go bad or not? Saffron is a really nice spice but how should you store it and how do you tell if it has gone bad? Here is a short guide.

Saffron is an expensive spice that comes from a flower called crocus sativus. Because of its price, you probably want to keep your saffron from spoiling.

As a result, the questions you may be asking are: Has my saffron gone bad? How long does it last?

Here’s the deal. Saffron doesn’t go bad but it will lose its quality and potency after time. Powdered saffron can retain its best quality 1 year past its best-by date. Saffron strands stay fresh for the same amount of time.     

Help, Has My Saffron Gone Bad? Signs Saffron Has Spoiled

saffron stigmas in wooden spoons

Saffron doesn’t really go bad, but it does lose its flavor over time. The only time saffron will spoil is when water gets to it.

If water contaminates it, it will be clear how your saffron changes. You’ll want to test its potency. If the spice has lost its aroma and the taste weakened significantly, you can discard it for quality purposes or use more of it in your dishes to get the usual taste and flavor.

How To Store Saffron

dried saffron spice and saffron flower

Whether saffron is in a powdered form or strands, the storage instructions are similar. Saffron should be kept in a cool and dark place, away from sunlight and sources of heat. A dark cupboard or spice drawer is ideal.

Remember to keep the package sealed tightly after every use. Use an airtight container, which will act as a protective barrier between your saffron and the outside world, preventing bacteria and moisture from invading.

How Long Does Saffron Last?

saffron in wooden bowl

Saffron loses its potency over time so try to use saffron as soon as possible to get the best flavor and potency from the spice. Use the best-by date on the label to determine how long saffron will retain its freshness.

Generally, powdered saffron lasts 1 year past its best-by date. Saffron strands, on the other hand, also last about 1 year after the best-by date.

Note that these periods indicate the best quality of the saffron. You can choose to keep your saffron after these times if you’re satisfied with its taste.

The Health Benefits Of Saffron

saffron in jar

Saffron is a powerful antioxidant spice. It contains a variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants and protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress.

Nicknamed the “sunshine spice”, saffron may help improve your mood. Saffron can help reduce PMS symptoms and can act as an aphrodisiac.

Need help with weight loss? Saffron may help to reduce your appetite.

Other potential health benefits include that it may reduce heart disease risk factors, lower blood sugar levels, improve eyesight in adults with age-related macular degeneration, and improve memory in adults with Alzheimer’s disease.           

The Verdict On Saffron

Interestingly, the name saffron comes from the Arabic word “zafaran” which means yellow.

Saffron won’t spoil unless water contaminates it. To prevent this from happening, be sure to store your saffron correctly. This means in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and sources of heat.

Importantly, remember to tightly seal your package of saffron when not in use. Saffron will lose its potency over time, so be sure to test the quality, aroma, and taste of your saffron. For its best quality, saffron lasts 1 year past its best-by date on the label.

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.