SAFFRON

SAFFRON

SAFFRON

 

Your brand can rely on Akaito Japanese Saffron® to be peerless in performance and ethically produced.
These are differentiators that you can bank on for your own brand value and your regulatory compliance.

At Akaito, every stigma of Akaito Japanese Saffron® is “Made in Japan” directly under our control and by our own hands.
So you can be sure that unlike over 95% of the world’s saffron—including saffron sold
in most high street stores—Akaito Japanese Saffron® is produced
without exploiting children or children or involving organized crime and terrorist states.

 


AKAITO SAFFRON®: MADE IN JAPAN


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.


Akaito Terroir

Exclusive to Japan, our terroir of Andosol (rich volcanic soils), microclimate, mountain water, and mountain elevation produce the unique saffron phenotype that we cExclusive to Japan, our terroir of Andosol (rich volcanic soils), microclimate, mountain water, and mountain elevation produce the unique saffron phenotype that we call Akaito Saffron®. 

As with the producing the best wine, suitable soil and climate are essential for cultivating peerless saffron. Andosol soils represent less than 1% of the world's best ice-free soils and, of those, Japanese Andosol soils are the best in the world: very fertile and young (in geological terms).

Outside Japan, the locations in which almost all of the world's saffron supply is grown is suboptimal for nurturing the saffron plant to reach its full potential.

 

Akaito 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 Terroir

Exclusive to Japan, our terroir of Andosol (rich volcanic soils), microclimate, mountain water, and mountain elevation produce the unique saffron phenotype that we cExclusive to Japan, our terroir of Andosol (rich volcanic soils), microclimate, mountain water, and mountain elevation produce the unique saffron phenotype that we call Akaito Saffron®. 

As with the producing the best wine, suitable soil and climate are essential for cultivating peerless saffron. Andosol soils represent less than 1% of the world's best ice-free soils and, of those, Japanese Andosol soils are the best in the world: very fertile and young (in geological terms).

Outside Japan, the locations in which almost all of the world's saffron supply is grown is suboptimal for nurturing the saffron plant to reach its full potential.

 

Akaito 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.

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®.


The Result: Akaito Saffron®

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.

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. 

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.


The Result: Akaito Saffron®

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.

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. 

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.


AKAITO HARVEST 2021.12: HOW TO BUY


The 2021 Akaito Harvest broke all of cultivation records with our highest crop yield and saffron performance to date. Not only has our crop size grown dramatically, but the application of our "Akaito Way" continues to help us innovate to improve our methods and find new applications of Akaito Japanese Saffron®.

Pre-orders for the 2022 harvest will begin in September, including the premier of "Akaito First Cut" that ships directly from the farm within 24 hours of harvest in limited volume. Contact the Sales department below for details.

Enquiries about Akaito Japanese Saffron®, Akaito Fine Extracts®, and Made with Akaito®-branded products may be sent Mr. Yoshinori Ito, Sales Director, at ito@akaito.jp.



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