Spices - Safflower Seeds

Arabic Usfur
Danish Farvetidsel, Safflor
Dutch Saffloer
English Safflower, Safflor, Bastard saffron
French Carthame, Safran bâtard
German Saflor, Farbersaflor, Farberdistel
Italian Cartamo, Falso zafferano
Japanese Benibana
Norwegian Saflor
Portuguese Cartamo
Spanish Cartamo, Alazor
Swedish Safflor, Fargtistel

Safflower often known as bastard saffron, safflower is usually cultivated in the Mediterranean, but there is an important production in Syria. It belongs to Asteroid family (sunflower family, also known as aster family), subfamily Asteroid. Safflower color is less vibrant and more regularly orange than that saffron it colors food but not flavor it. Flowers are the used plant part and they are Very weak and herbaceous.


Main Constituents

Safflower flowers contain carthamin, a dye of flavonoid type, but no essential oil. The plant is widely cultivated for edible oil, which is extracted from the seeds. It contains triglycerides of the doubly unsaturated linoleic acid (70%) and the triply unsaturated linolenic acid (10%); the latter is, together with the comparatively high content of vitamine E (310 ppm), responsible for the good reputation of safflower oil among nutrition scientists. Iodine index is rather high, ranging from 140 to 150. for a general discussion of vegetable oils.

It’s usage all over the world

The genus name derives from Arabic kurthum, a verb meaning "dye", and the species name is related to Latin tinctor "dyer, a person who dyes". English safflower and German Saflor both derive from Arabic asfar "yellow" via Old Italian asfiore or saffiore and Old French saffleur (influenced by Old French safran "saffron" and fleur "flower"). The orange-red flowers of this plant sometimes serve as a substitute for saffron, since they give a (rather pale) colour to the food. They are frequently sold as "saffron" to tourists their staining capability justifies usage in the kitchen.

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