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Saffron Production in 2019

Saffron Production in 2019

IRAN Exports 200 tons of saffron from Iran in 2019

Mr. MIRI, Director of Saffron Association of Iran in eghtesadonline, said:Saffron production reached more than 350 tons in 2019.Mr MIRI referred to the cultivation, production and global yield of saffron in this year, adding: Iran produced 350 tons of saffron in the first place, India with the production of 22 tons in the second place, Greece with a production of 7.2 tons Third, Afghanistan ranked fourth with 6th in production, Morocco with a production of 2.6 tons in fifth place, Spain with a production of 2.3 tons in the sixth ranking, Italy and China with a production of one ton in the seventh and eighth and Azerbaijan with production 0.23 tons were ranked ninth.

He announced the cultivation of red gold in Iran at 105,000 and 270 hectares, 5,000 and 707 hectares in India, and 2,811 hectares in Afghanistan.The main buyers of saffron in the Middle East are food wholesaler and food industries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and United Arab Emirates.

IRANIAN MAZAFATI DATES

IRANIAN MAZAFATI DATES

Rotab Mazafati Bam

Mazafati dates, also known as Kimia Dates and Bam dates (after the region in which the most delicious dates of this kind are grown), are one of the many different kinds of Iranian date fruit. They are perhaps the most popular, well-known variety of date; it is estimated that Mazafati dates account for 20% of Iran’s total export of dates. With a unique taste, they are considered to be one of the most delicious of all date varieties.

History: Mazafati date production primarily occurs in Bam city, Kerman province. This is the most place most associated with the production of high quality Mazafati datesThe Bam region has around 28,000 hectares of land dedicated to the harvesting Mazafati dates, 5,000 hectres of which is reserved for young palm trees.

Description: Mazafati dates are dark, soft, fleshy, sweet and succulent. They are a medium sized date, typically around 2.5-4.5cm, and have a relatively high moisture content of 32-35%. They are best consumed as fresh dates.

Grown in: Southern Iran (mainly in BamJiroftKahnujNikshahr SaravanHaji Abad and Iranshahr).

Harvesting period: August – October. The Mazafati is fully ripe at the end of the date season.

Production: Mazafati dates are one major species of fresh date and have a huge annual yield. It is estimated that 120,000 tons of the Mazafati dates are harvested annually. Primarily, this variety of date is consumed in domestic markets, but due to increased production in recent years, steps have been taken towards exporting also. Typically, Mazafti dates are harvested in 3 phases. Quality may vary between a high quality date with a soft, thin texture and low quality date with a hard, dry texture. It is a low waste process – samples of waste Mazafati dates were actually found to taste just as good, if not better, and be of just as good, if not better, quality. Annually, Iran produces close to one million tons of date fruit. There are 400 different types, 50 of which are well known in international markets and are exported throughout the world. Mazafati date palms can stay in production for over 60 years.

Exportation and consumer markets: Some of the major importers of Mazafati dates include North European countries (England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany), the Persian Gulf littoral states, the North American countries (especially Canada), East Asian countries and Australia. Iranians living abroad are one of the main consumer sources.

Shelf life and storage: 2 years at -5°C or 12 months at 0-5°C (this can be prolonged by wrapping the dates in cling film and/or plastic). Mazafati dates should be kept refrigerated. The main producers of the Mazafati date keep them in cold storage; however, drying out Mazafati dates to reduce moisture can help to eliminate the need for cold storage.

Uses: Direct consumption – snacking and table eating. Dry or soft Mazafati dates can be eaten in their raw form, or may be seeded and stuffed, or chopped for use in cereals, puddings, bread, cakes, cookies, ice cream and candy bars. Since production is so high, surplus Mazafati dates are made into cubes, paste, spread, powder (date sugar) jam, jelly, juice, syrup, vinegar and alcohol.

Nutritional content and health benefits: Like all other varieties of date fruit, the Mazafati date is loaded with essential nutrients, including – amongst others – vitamins (A, B, C and E), minerals, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, protein, fibre, carbohydrates and simple sugars. 100g of Mazafati dates contains approximately 1.1g of protein, 0.15g of fat, 74.97g carbohydrates, 6.7g of dietary fibre and 113g of sugar.
Regular consumption of Mazafati dates can help to boost energy levels, strengthen nerves, treat anaemia, increase memory and alertness, improve skin, promote good digestive and heart health, and prevent indigestion and constipation.

Seeds: Mazafati date seeds are made up of 7.7-9.7% oil and make up 5.6-14.2% of the date’s weight. They contain 7.17-9% moisture, 1.83-5.3% protein, 6.8-9.32% fat, 65.5% carbohydrates, 6.4-13.6% fibre and 0.89-1.57% ash, as well as sterols, estrone and an alkali-soluble polysaccharide. The fatty acids contained in the oil are 8% lauric, 4% myristic, 25% palmitic, 10% stearic, 45% oleic and 10% linoleic, as well as some caprylic and capric acid. Mazafati date seeds can be chemically-processed to yield oxalic acid at a rate of 65%. Additionally, Mazafati date seeds contain 6-8% of a yellow-green, non-drying oil substitute which can be used in cosmetic products such as soap. Other uses include burning to make charcoal, use in making necklaces, and using the oil within the raw material industry to produce detergents, shampoo, soap, laundry power etc.

Mazafati date seeds have strong antioxidant properties due to their high flavonoid and phenolic compounds. In many cultures, the Mazafati date seed is known as the ‘blessed’ seed due to its many supposed cures, including the ability to strengthen the immune system and fight infection, as well as act as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. These health benefits have been confirmed in scientific research conducted in recent years.

saffron and depression

saffron and depression

Natural Treatment for  Depression

A number of studies indicate that the stigma of the plant (the top of the plant where the pollen is, which is technically called the ‘saffron’) and petal of Crocus sativus plant both have similar mood benefits. Animal studies show the compounds safranal and crocin in the crocus plant may exert anti-depressant effects by keeping balanced levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin .

Studies in humans prove there is benefit to both anxiety and depression. An 8-week double-blind randomized Iranian trial of 40 adult depressed outpatients were randomly assigned to receive either a capsule of petal of the Crocus plant at 15 mg in the morning and evening or Fluoxetine (Prozac) at 10 mg in the morning and evening, for a 8 weeks. At the end of trial, petal the Crocus was found to be as effective as the drug. Fluoxetine (Prozac) had an 85% responder rate with 17 of 20 patients and crocus showed a similar 75% (Basti et al., 2007). In another six week comparison  to imipramine (an older style tricyclic antidepressant drug),  researchers foudn significantly better results when patients were given a Hamilton Depression scale, which is a well-known questionnaire used to assess mood (Akhondzadeh et al., 2005).

The latest 2014 review of studies analyzed 14 studies which used saffron as an anti-depressant. This review even found saffron to be an agent effective to help Alzheimer’s, showing it more effective than the placebo, and as effective as donepezil (Aricept), which is the main conventional medication for this difficult-to-treat condition of aging. Some studies also showed benefit to help with weight loss (by reducing the need to snack) while others showed help with premenstrual syndrome . A separate 2013 review which used an even more stringent criteria for including studies also found saffron supplementation effective to significantly reduce depression symptoms compared to the placebo control (Hausenblas, 2013).

Adjunctive Treatment for Patients with Depression and Anxiety

A very recent work, also from Iran, looked at a 9 month study of 40 patients with major depression who were taking conventional psychiatric medications. Half took crocin, the major constituent of saffron alongside their medication, while and half took only the drugs. The subjects who took the combination spice and drugs had showed significantly improved scores for depression relief, anxiety relief and general overall health status compared to placebo group (Talaei, 2015).

And saffron may also be good for sexual side effects too. Another work found saffron to effectively decrease the antidepressant sexual side effects common in men. The men found it helped erectile issues, and increased satisfaction too (Modabbernia, 2012). Other herbals like ginkgo also show some benefits for this problem as well. The erectile function issues is a tough issue for most men I see in my practice who are taking antidepressants. Anything that help that doesn’t negatively interact with medication and doesn’t cause side effects makes sense to me.

Saffron could stop blindness and cure eye disease

Saffron could stop blindness and cure eye disease

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2009/05/17/Saffron-could-stopping-blindness-and-cure-eye-disease.aspx

 

Italian scientists say they have found that saffron may hold the key to stopping vision loss as people age and in treating some eye diseases.

The scientists at ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science and University of L’Aquila, in Italy, suggest the spice could reverse the course of blinding diseases and may hold one of the keys to preventing the loss of sight in old age.

The researchers led by Professor Silvia Bisti have shown that saffron has remarkable effects on the genes which regulate the performance of the eye’s key vision cells and not only protects the vision cells (photoreceptors) from damage, but may also slow and possibly even reverse the course of blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa.

A clinical trial with patients suffering AMD in Rome has found early indications that treatment with a dietary supplement of saffron may cause damaged eye cells to recover.

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices and comes from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus – it is used in cooking as a seasoning and as a colouring agent.

Saffron is native to Southwest Asia and has a bitter taste and contains a carotenoid dye, crocin, that gives food a rich golden-yellow colour – it is a much-sought ingredient in many foods worldwide and widely used in Persian, Arab, Central Asian, European, Indian,Turkish and Cornish cuisines and in sweets and liquors.

Saffron has also been used as a fabric dye, particularly in China and India, and in perfumery.

But saffron also has medicinal applications and a long history in traditional healing for the treatment of a variety of ailments such as menstrual pain, menopausal problems, depression, chronic diarrhoea and neuralgia – modern medicine has also discovered saffron as having anticarcinogenic (cancer-suppressing), anti-mutagenic (mutation-preventing), immunomodulating, and antioxidant-like properties.

Professor Bisti, who is currently visiting colleagues in The Vision Centre in Australia, says saffron is not simply an anti-oxidant but appears to possess a number of other properties which are protective to vision – it appears to affect genes which regulate the fatty acid content of the cell membrane and this makes the vision cells tougher and more resilient.

Professor Bisti says it has been shown in animal models that a saffron diet will protect the eye from the damaging effects of bright light – something we all suffer whenever we go out in the sun and is active in affecting genetic diseases of the eye, such as retinitis pigmentosa, which can cause life-long blindness in young people.

Animal research has also shown the prospect of slowing down the progression of sight loss and when saffron was given to human patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration, which causes partial or total loss of sight to many people in old age, signs of cell recovery were seen.

Professor Bisti says the early findings are exciting and more will be revealed when all the results are in later this year – the saffron diet treatment may also be trialled as part of a wider experiment involving ways to prevent vision loss in humans in Sydney and Rome later this year.

Professor Bisti began to study the effects on saffron at L’Aquila, in Italy’s mountainous Abruzzi country because it was a widely-grown local crop and was already well-known as an anti-oxidant ,but she says no-one had explored saffron’s effects on eyesight before, even though it has been used in cooking and medicine for three thousand years – and it is completely safe and harmless.

Professor Bisti’s team are also working to isolate the active components of saffron which produce the various beneficial effects on vision with the goal of developing therapies based on them.

The director of The Vision Centre in Australia Professor Trevor Lamb, says Professor Bisti’s laboratory at L’Aquila University was severely damaged in the recent earthquake in Italy and her experiments disrupted and because of that tragic event and the importance of her work, The Vision Centre has agreed to support one of her key researchers to come to Australia and work at the Australian National University for a year, another of her research staff will be working at the University of Sydney, allowing this important research to proceed.

The benefits of saffron :

The benefits of saffron :

The benefits of saffron :

Saffron as a healthy condiment ,reduces fat and cholesterol is known as sedative , appetizer , antispasmodic and prevents heart disease and cancer and improves memory and reduces blood pressure .

Saffron is used for the treatment of asthma , skin diseases, eye diseases, urinary tract infections , jaundice, bloating, stomach pain , anemia and premenstrual syndrome.

Saffron helps digestion and relieves pain gums.

Saffron , antidepressant without side effects : According to research , the consumption of saffron significantly reduced symptoms of depression .

The effects would also equivalent to those of conventional antidepressants like fluoxetine and imipramine 30 mg of saffron per day are as effective as 20 mg fluoxetine or 100 mg of imipramine . This plant inhibits serotonin reuptake through safranal and crocin its assets. Saffron is effective in cases of mild to moderate depression. Studies are positive about its effectiveness in cases of severe depression.

 

 Saffron and cancer :There is much scientific evidence that saffron interferes with the lives of cancer cells. The laboratories show that saffron, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties , can kill malignant cells.

 

 

Sources:

  • Hosseinzadeh H, Sadeghnia HR. Safranal, a constituent of Crocus sativus (saffron), attenuated cerebral ischemia induced oxidative damage in rat hippocampus. Jour Pharm Pharmaceut Sci. 2005;8(3):394-9.
  • Tarantilis PA, et al., Inhibition of growth and induction of differentiation of         promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) by carotenoids from Crocus sativus, Anticancer Research 1994; 14(5A): 1913–1918.
  • USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database ( http://plants.usda.gov , June 2009). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  • http://www.doctissimo.fr/html/sante/phytotherapie/plante-medicinale/safran.htm