Akaito Cultivation Method
There are hundreds of steps and considerations in our saffron cultivation method?like no other in the world. Most are Akaito’s trade secrets, but we can disclose a few things to give you an idea about how we raise our corms and harvest our flowers.
We plant each corm by hand in our terroir and allow them to charge naturally with sunlight and nutrients for several months.
The corms are then harvested and cared for during their hibernation period,?protected from dust, contaminants, weather, UV radiation, pathogens, and other harmful things.
The cool weather of late autumn triggers the corms to bloom, each at a different time during a period less than a fortnight.
We make several passes over the entire crop daily to find and pluck only the flowers that are at the correct stage of development with the best stigmas.
Even though we are active in research and development, we know when not to resort to technology, too. The harvesting of saffron stigmas is an example of a laborious process that, at first sight, one might think can be easily solved by automation.
Despite enormous efforts by scientists, engineers, and farmers, automation solutions remain elusive in the global saffron industry. Yes, advances in artificial intelligence and robotics are promising. But we have concluded that, at least for the time being, no technology can replace the judgement, sensitivity, and dexterity of a human Akaito harvester.
Indeed, Akaito’s harvesters have the delicacy, precision, and rapidity of a vascular surgeon. All of this goes into producing wet stigmas that are peerless in the world: shape, length, color, aroma, and structural integrity.
Next comes the drying component of the Akaito Cultivation Method, our most tightly guarded trade secret.
During the drying of saffron stigmas, the aroma compounds are transformed into flavor- and color compounds. In other words, flavor comes at the expense of aroma. Akaito’s drying method optimizes the creation of saffron’s color and flavor while preserving as much of the aroma compounds as possible.
Even though our cultivation methods are secrets, the results are not. You can experience the peerless aroma, taste, and color in every stigma of Akaito Saffron®.