How To Identify Original Kesar From Fake Kesar

How To Identify Original Kesar From Fake Kesar

Tips To Recognize Real Saffron

Saffron (kesar) is a popular spice and is used in various dishes worldwide. However, while these tiny threads pack a lot of flavour, they are also quite expensive. This has led to several brands selling fake saffron to generate bigger profits. This is why it is crucial to always pick a trusted brand such as DryFruit Basket when you buy saffron online.

Here, we bring you simple yet effective tips to identify real saffron and avoid spending your money on fake saffron.


Real saffron has a sweet smell which almost resembles honey or a bit of vanilla. Keep in mind, the smell is not strong but mild. In case a strong smell hits your nose, chances are it has been sprayed with artificial fragrance.


While some people believe that saffron is sweet, the truth is that real saffron has a bitter taste to it. If your saffron is sweet to taste it has been altered with some other element and is not real. Remember, the smell is sweet but taste is bitter. These days, you can order saffron online from top-quality brands to ensure it is real.


Real saffron is not a straight thread. Rather, it has a bulge towards one end making it look like a trumpet. However, it may be difficult to differentiate between real and fake saffron based on appearance alone and it is recommended to use another test in addition to checking appearance.

Rub Saffron Threads

Pure saffron does not disintegrate. To test the purity, take a couple of wet saffron strands and rub them against your fingers. Real saffron will not break and will turn your fingers a light orange or yellow. Fake saffron may break apart or disintegrate or leave a dark red colour on your fingers. This is also true if you chew a couple of strands. Pure saffron retains its thread-like quality while fake saffron tends to disintegrate.

Place in Cold Water

Here is a popular saffron test you can do the next time you buy saffron online. In a glass of cold water, place a couple of strands on top. After about 15 minutes the strands should slowly start to release a slight yellow-golden hue changing the water colour. Fake saffron is often dyed with colour which instantly tends to release a deep-red shade in the water once placed. Also, real saffron thread retains the colour while fake saffron may turn white once the colour is released in water.

Press on Paper

To make the appearance of saffron more attractive as well as increase the weight, some brands spray oil on the saffron. This makes the saffron look glossy and is sometimes marketed as premium saffron. Real saffron is dull and not glossy. To check for oil, simply press a few saffron strands between two pieces of paper. If the paper turns oily, then you have altered saffron.


Saffron is an expensive spice and one that has several fake alternatives in the market. The above tests can help you test for pure saffron. Further, the best way to ensure that you only have real and pure saffron is to order saffron online from a reputed brand like DryFruit Basket.

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