Chemistry of Cooking. Saffron Rice Experiment

Introduction

Saffron is a spice often used in cooking because of its distinct aroma and golden color. A typical application of it is in cooking rice, although it can be used in other meals as well. However, apart from these properties, the history of Saffron’s use reveals that people have used it for centuries as a healing method. This research project outlines an experiment that aims to determine the temperature at which Saffron rice turns yellow.

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Literature Review

The scientific facts about Saffron are connected to its biological and chemical properties. Saffron is derived from the plant Crocus sativus L., which is sometimes referred to as Saffron crocus.1 The plant’s dried stigma is used to produce this spice. It is water-soluble, meaning that soaking Saffron in water will cause the spice to dissolve. Also, when used in cooking, this spice should not be subjected to high-temperature impact since it will result in a loss of aroma, leaving only the distinct yellow color.2 The color of the spice is connected to the carotenoid compounds, the degradation of which results in the distinct visual appearance of Saffron, and its bitter taste is facilitated by glucoside picrocrocin.

The nonscientific facts about Saffron include descriptions of its aromatic and visual properties, as well as the history of the application. Saffron is considered to be the most precious and expensive spice that people use. 3 The price of it is connected to the fact that a lot of Crocus sativus is necessary to produce this spice, although even a small amount provides a distinct smell and color. Initially, it was cultivated in Greece, however in modern times, Saffron mainly comes from Iran, India, or Morocco, with some farmers growing Saffron in the United States as well.

The applications of Saffron are varied, and it can be used not only for cooking. Saffron has been used by people for centuries, although the primary use was medicine due to its healing properties. 4 Moreover, it is used in contemporary medical practice since medication for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart issues are made using this plant. 5 The combination of Saffron and rice is a typical application of this spice that has been used in cooking for many decades. Additionally, Saffron is often used in combination with other spices.6 A distinct combination is Saffron and Tumeric, which improves the qualities of this spice and aroma.

Research Question and Hypothesis

The research question aims to investigate at what temperature does Saffron coat rice with its yellowish color. The hypothesis is that Saffron’s yellow color in rice dishes can be achieved by choosing the correct temperature, considering the chemical properties of this spice. This is necessary to preserve the unique aroma and taste of Saffron. This spice contains 150 volatile components that give it its distinct smell. The yellow color of Saffron is connected to a-crocin.7 However, before cooking, Saffron’s color is red, and the aim of the experiment is to determine the optimal temperature that produces the yellow color and adequately cooked rice.

Experimental Design

The main objective of this experiment is to determine at what temperature rice with Saffron acquires its yellowish color. The four options of the dependent variable are Sargol, Super Negin, Negin, and Postal. These are the different types of Saffran that can be purchased; they differ in color, taste, and aroma, with Postal being the cheapest and not the high-quality kind of Saffron. The three options of an independent variable, which will also be used as a means of measurement, are color, aroma, and texture. The scale for texture is 1 – hard, 2 – crumbly, 3 – soft, 4- chewy, 5- overcooked. The scale for color is 1 – white, 2 – white with a hue of yellow, 3 – yellowish, 4 – bright yellow, 5 – dark yellow. The scale for taste is 1 – no taste, 2 – a slight taste of spice, 3 – spicy, 4 – highly seasoned, 5 – bitter. The three possible control variables are the amount of rice, the amount of Saffron, and the type of rice used in the experiment.

Method

Saffron rice will be cooked at different temperatures to solve the issue described in the hypothesis. One cup of rice will be taken with one tablespoon of different types of Saffron for each independent variable. The temperature will be measured using a kitchen thermometer. The unground Saffron should be soaked in hot water before it is placed in the rice.8 Next, the Saffron will be added to the white Basmati rice, and the temperature of the water will be measured during this procedure to determine at which stage the rice acquires its distinct yellowish color, using different Saffron types. Overall, this paper outlines the scientific and nonscientific properties of Saffron and explains the experiment’s design that aims to test Saffron rice’s yellowish color.

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Bibliography

Baraghany, Andy. “What Is Saffron, the World’s Most Legendary Spice?” Bonappetite, Web.

Christodoulou, Eirini, Nikolaos Kadoglou, Nikolaos Kostomitsopoulos, and Georgia Valsami. “Saffron: A Natural Product With Potential Pharmaceutical Applications”. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 67, no. 12 (2005): 1634-1649. Web.

Jivad, Nahid, Nadereh Zare-Hassanabadi, and Mahmoud Azizi. “Effect Of Combination Of Honey, Saffron (Crocus Sativus L.) And Sedge (Cyperus Rotundus L.) On Cognitive Dysfunction In Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease”. Advanced Herbal Medicine 1, no. 2 (2015): 11-16.

Khan, Yasmine. The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen. New York, Bloomsbury, 2016.

Moradi-Khatoonabadi, Zhila, Mansooreh Amirpour, and Maryam AkbariAzam. (2015) “Synthetic Food Colours in Saffron Solutions, Saffron Rice and Saffron Chicken From Restaurants in Tehran, Iran.” Food Additives & Contaminants: Part B, 8, no.1 (2015): 12-17, Web.

Small, Ernest. “Saffron (Crocus Sativus) – the Eco-Friendly Spice.” Biodiversity, 17, no. 4 (2016), 162-170, Web.

Footnotes

  1. Ernest Small. “Saffron (Crocus Sativus) – the Eco-Friendly Spice.” Biodiversity, 17, no. 4 (2016), 162, Web.
  2. Andy Baraghany. “What Is Saffron, the World’s Most Legendary Spice?” Bon appetite, Web.
  3. Baraghany.
  4. Eirini, Nikolaos Kadoglou, Nikolaos Kostomitsopoulos, and Georgia Balsamic. “Saffron: A Natural Product With Potential Pharmaceutical Applications.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 67, no. 12 (2005): 1634-1649. Web.
  5. Jivad Christodoulou, Nahid, Nadereh Zare-Hassanabadi, and Mahmoud Azizi. “Effect Of Combination Of Honey, Saffron (Crocus Sativus L.) And Sedge (Cyperus Rotundus L.) On Cognitive Dysfunction In Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease.” Advanced Herbal Medicine 1, no. 2 (2015): 11.
  6. Christodoulou et al., 12.
  7. Yasmine Khan. The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen. New York, Bloomsbury, 2016, 10.
  8. Zhila, Moradi-Khatoonabadi, Mansooreh Amirpour, and Maryam AkbariAzam. (2015) “Synthetic Food Colours in Saffron Solutions, Saffron Rice and Saffron Chicken From Restaurants in Tehran, Iran.” Food Additives & Contaminants: Part B, 8, no.1 (2015): 12, Web.
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StudyCorgi. (2021, August 16). Chemistry of Cooking. Saffron Rice Experiment. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/chemistry-of-cooking-saffron-rice-experiment/

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"Chemistry of Cooking. Saffron Rice Experiment." StudyCorgi, 16 Aug. 2021, studycorgi.com/chemistry-of-cooking-saffron-rice-experiment/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Chemistry of Cooking. Saffron Rice Experiment." August 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/chemistry-of-cooking-saffron-rice-experiment/.


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StudyCorgi. "Chemistry of Cooking. Saffron Rice Experiment." August 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/chemistry-of-cooking-saffron-rice-experiment/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2021. "Chemistry of Cooking. Saffron Rice Experiment." August 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/chemistry-of-cooking-saffron-rice-experiment/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Chemistry of Cooking. Saffron Rice Experiment'. 16 August.

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