Sustinably Made in Japan.
For 300 years, Japan has kept a secret.
We took knowledge
from the cradle of civilization
and blended it with our culture.
A culture of craftsmanship,
innovation, and fastidious care
unmatched in the world.
We now blend our culture with yours.
The Akaito Way
One of Japan's most important cultural strengths is the ability to combine the master craftsman’s art (as with a Japanese sword smith) with production efficiency (think of Toyota).
In the same way, to create Akaito Saffron®, Akaito has integrated the art and wisdom of 300 years of traditional Japanese saffron farming with the most advanced science, technology, and processes of the 21st Century.
But methods and expertise are insufficient without the right assets from nature: our terroir and corms.
Resembling a flower bulb, the corm is nature's battery. It powers the saffron plant's growth and flowering.
Corms that are plump and dense produce strong plants that are saturated with higher concentrations of the compounds responsible for the saffron stigma's aroma, taste, and color.
Akaito Corms have a 300-year pedigree in Japan, and have been improved during those many crop generations. Our corms are twice the size and four times the density of the largest corms found anywhere else in the world.
And we continue to improve our corms each year by The Akaito Way.
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.
From Planting to Harvest
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 dug up, stored and cared for during their hibernation period until the harvest season in late autumn, 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.
All of this goes into producing wet stigmas that are peerless in the world: shape, length, color, and aroma.
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®.
The result: Akaito Saffron®
Akaito Saffron® exceeds the ISO 3632 Grade I Saffron Standard and outperforms all other saffron in the world: the commodity saffron known as “Red Gold.”
The quality of Akaito Saffron® is checked throughout the year by independent ISO-certified laboratories using double-blind testing of samples. Beyond the standard measures of crocin (color), picrocrocin (flavor), and safranal (aroma), Akaito tests another 15 parameters as part of its quality assurance method and research programs.
By every measure, be it quantitative or qualitative, Akaito Saffron® outperforms commodity “Red Gold” saffron.
Traceability, security, and provenance
After having dried Akaito Saffron®, we immediately package it in containers of the same materials and designs used for centuries in Japan to store delicacies, perishables, and fermented foods as well as precious items, such as Japanese silk kimonos and samurai swords. Our packaging keeps Akaito Saffron® in pristine condition for long periods of time.
Traceability, security, and independent auditing are entwined in every step of Akaito’s saffron production. Akaito guarantees with absolute certainty the authenticity and quality of each stigma of Akaito Saffron®.
Akaito uses numerous methods to foil fraudsters. The most visible of these measures are the Akaito seals—physical and digital—on and in each box of Akaito Saffron®. We also employ other anti-fraud technology that is not publicly disclosed.
How To Buy
For corporate customers including restaurants, please click on the link below to contact us.