There are different quality standards and categories for saffron, based on appearance, preparation and physical-chemical values. In accordance with the Order of 28 July 1999, amending the Order of 30 June 1988 on the quality standards for overseas trade in saffron, the following commercial types exist: Saffron Threads, Saffron Coupé, Crushed Saffron and Ground Saffron.
These categories are defined in accordance with the Spanish standards, as Selecto, Superior, Rio and Sierra and in accordance with international standards like Categories I, II and III. There are also other important quality distinctions, based on origin, such as La Mancha Saffron with Protected Designation of Origin, and Certified Organic Saffron, which is increasing its presence and importance on the international market with added values compared to others.
It is saffron is its natural state, as prepared by the grower. Each thread is comprised of the stigma and the style. The variation in length of the stigma and style gives us different categories.
These are the treads with the styles removed. Using an elaborate and delicate process of separation, we obtein the red part of the threads only, where the principal qualities of the saffron are concentrated. This is the best of saffron.