Saffron

Gentabiose

Crocetin

Property Data
Common name
Suggested name
Other names
C.I. number
C.I. name
 
Class
Ionisation
Solubility aqueous
Solubility ethanol
Absorption maximum
 
Colour
Empirical formula
Formula weight
Saffron
Saffron
Crocin
75100
Natural yellow 6, 19
Natural red 1
Natural
Acid
Readily
Readily
434, 464 (Merck)
427, 452 (Aldrich)
Yellow orange
C44H64O4
977

The active colouring constitutent of saffron is crocin, which is a di-gentabiose ester of crocetin, although the exact structure is not given. The dye is obtained from the stigmata of Crocus sativus, which are collected by hand, so the dye is expensive. Although used in the past for many purposes, today saffron is used primarily as a food colour and spice.

Its histological use is largely confined to the HPS staining technique, in which it colours connective tissue yellow in contrast to the pink cytoplasm of phloxine B. Due to the expense of the saffron the method is not common, and modifications employing tartrazine as in the phloxine-tartrazine method or chrome fast yellow 8GL as in a modified yellowsolve have been suggested as substitutes.

 

Reference
R. D. Lillie.
Conn's Biological Stains
Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD., U.S.A.

Susan Budavari, Editor, (1996)
The Merck Index, Ed. 12
Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA

Colour Index, Ed. 2. (1956)
Society of dyers and colourists, UK.

 


 

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