Hydroponics and Health Benefits of Saffron
Harvested by hand, saffron comes from a flower known as Crocus sativus, popularly referred to as the saffron crocus. The name applies to the stigma or thread-like structures of the flower. Due to small amounts and high harvesting costs, saffron is more expensive by weight than gold.
Here is an overview of the hydroponics and health benefits of this particular spice.
Hydroponics of Saffron
Requirements for hydroponic cultivation include a microfiber sponge comprising four channels, such as a catchment tank, a catchment pipe, and four pipes to support inlet flow.
The daytime range for saffron is 60-to-65-degree Fahrenheit, whereas night-time temperature should be at least 53-degree Fahrenheit.
Nutrient values are to encourage the flowering need to be maintained at pH 5.5 and an EC of 1.4 to encourage flowering. Moreover, NPK fertilizer helps obtain the greatest flower dry weight.
Nutritional Profile of Saffron
Primary nutrients found in a 100g portion of saffron are mentioned below.
Among all the nutrients, the greatest concentration in saffron is carbohydrates of no less than 65.4g. (FoodData Central, 2019)
Protein and Fat
Saffron consists of significant amounts of protein and fat at 11.4g and 5.85g, respectively.
It is rich in numerous important vitamins, like vitamin-A, riboflavin, folic acid, and Vitamin-C.
Health Benefits of Saffron
There have been numerous clinical and preclinical studies that point towards the neuroprotective and antidepressant effect of saffron on account of its bioactive constituents, such as crocin and safranal. (Tareq Abu-Izneid, 2020)
Moreover, some studies have found that consuming 30mg of spice on a daily basis is just as effective as the common treatments for depression, like Imipramine, Citalopram, and Fluoxetine. (Mojtaba Shafiee, 2018)
Chemistry of Saffron
The chemical composition of saffron is a complex one. The spice consists of primary metabolites, like minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and amino acids. Carotenoids drive the color of the spice and are one of the most important constituents of saffron. (Maria Anna Maggi, 2020)
FoodData Central. (2019, April 1). Retrieved from US Department of Agriculture: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170934/nutrients
Kordestani, M. (2019, November 5). Hydroponic Saffron Cultivation and the Effects of Soil Salinity. Retrieved from Medium: https://milankordestani.medium.com/hydroponic-saffron-cultivation-and-the-effects-of-soil-salinity-174774863451
Maria Anna Maggi, S. B. (2020). Saffron: Chemical Composition and Neuroprotective Activity. Molecules.
Mojtaba Shafiee, S. A. (2018). Saffron in the treatment of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders: Current evidence and potential mechanisms of action. J Affect Disord.
Tareq Abu-Izneid, A. R. (2020). Nutritional and health beneficial properties of saffron (Crocus sativus L): a comprehensive review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.