Affron is standardized to Lepticrosalides, a complex of bioactive compounds responsible for the beneficial and organoleptic attributes of Affron. The capabilities of this clean-label, synthetic-free, pure plant saffron extract are backed by several clinical studies. These compounds have been clinically shown to improve mood in healthy individuals, relieve stress and occasional sadness, support relaxation, and help enhance sleep, the company said. Affron also is the first saffron extract clinically studied on adolescents.
Pharmactive grows and cultivates the saffron in its fields within the terrain of Castilla-La-Mancha in Spain. The arid plains and dry, warm Mediterranean climate of the region present ideal conditions for the cultivation of saffron.
“Crocus sativus L. species has been cultivated and consumed for centuries in Spain and its culinary and beneficial values have been long appreciated,” said Julia Diaz, marketing manager of Pharmactive. The golden threads of the saffron plant are worth nearly their weight in gold, due in part to their labor-intensive harvesting method. During the short eight weeks in autumn when they bloom, the flowers must be carefully hand-picked, one at a time, and within the few hours between dawn and mid-day to avoid wilting of the delicate stigmas that form the saffron threads.
“As a high-value botanical, saffron is extremely susceptible to counterfeiting,” noted Alberto Espinel, head of R&D of Pharmactive. “The company’s saffron is home grown and manufactured in their extraction plant in Madrid. The optimized extraction process employed ensures the highest concentration of saffron’s active Lepticrosalides.”
Pharmactive has established a range of quality control procedures, including active compound quantification, meticulous adulteration detection measures, and microbiological and contaminant analysis to ensure consistent quality of its formulation. “We work in close cooperation with our saffron farmers, respecting the cultural heritage of this exceptional region. Their innate knowledge of saffron and how to optimally produce and harvest it using no fertilizer is key to Pharmactive’s unmatched quality offering,” said Espinel. “Furthermore, we conduct strict quality controls internally and externally through certified third parties,” he added. “These meticulous measures provide full traceability and allow a wholly trusted source of saffron.”
Affron is water-soluble and readily applicable to food formats or supplements. It is kosher and halal certified, non-GMO, non-irradiated, and has a three-year shelf-life.