GLC/HPLC Methods for Saffron (Crocus sativus L.)

  • Asghar Amanpour
  • Hasim Kelebek
  • Serkan SelliEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is provided from the dried and dark-red stigmas of flowers belonging to the family of Iridaceae. Concerning the total content of saffron production, the biggest producer territory in the world is Iran, followed by Spain, India, Italy, Greece, and Morocco. Crocetin, crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal are the four main bioactive compounds in saffron which contribute both organoleptic profile of saffron (pigment, pigment, taste, and odor, respectively) and the health-progressing features. Isolation, identification, and quantification of bioactive compounds from complex and natural matrix of food stuffs are a main and common trouble of initial interest in food quality measurement and characterization. Chromatography is a set of constituents’ separation techniques in a complex mixture. Recently, chromatographic methods were widely used for the isolation, identification, quantification, and analysis of saffron components. Although there are various kinds of chromatographic techniques, more recently a gas chromatography (GC) with a mass spectrometer (MS) detector for the volatile compounds and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) coupled with a UV-Vis detector are the techniques of choice, permitting the isolation on an analytical value and the quantification and identification of the metabolites of interest in saffron. However, this chapter principally conducted the analysis of saffron compounds comprising the aroma and most aroma-active compounds using GC-MS and GC-MS-olfactometry setups and bioactive compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds using HPLC techniques.


Saffron Crocus sativus Extraction techniques Aroma and aroma-active Bioactive compounds GC-MS-olfactometry HPLC-MS-DAD 









Aroma extract dilution analysis


Combined hedonic aroma response measurement


Diode array detector


Electrospray ionization

FD factor

Flavor dilution factor


Gas chromatography


Gas chromatography-flame ionization detector


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-olfactometry




High-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection and mass spectrometry






Liquid-liquid extraction


Microsimultaneous hydrodistillation-extraction


Micro-steam distillation extraction


Photodiode array


Purge and trap extraction


Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography


Solvent-assisted flavor evaporation


Stir bar sorptive extraction


Steam distillation


Simultaneous distillation/extraction


Supercritical fluid extraction


Solid-phase microextraction


Thermal desorption


Ultrasound-assisted extraction/ultraviolet−visible spectroscopy


Ultrasonic solvent extraction


Vacuum headspace


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of AgricultureCukurova UniversityAdanaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Natural SciencesAdana Science and Technology UniversityAdanaTurkey

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