Drying is an important step for the preparation of saffron because it determines the aroma of the spice, it differs according to the regions and producer countries, which result a variations in the quality. There are several methods of drying which the critical elements are time, drying temperature, and equipment used. The storage conditions can also influence the quality of saffron, especially its three secondary components which are: crocin, safranal, and picrocrocin. The main aim of the present study is to provide a description of volatile profiles and their variability among Moroccan saffron according to different drying and conservation methods. Twenty nine saffron samples belonging to three different Moroccan areas were analyzed using thermal desorption-gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. For not generating safranal during the isolation procedure, saffron volatiles were desorbed at 50°C during 3 min. The eight main volatile compounds, in addition to safranal, were identified and related to the dehydration procedure as well as the storage conditions. Saffron dried by the oven (40°C) and kept in the refrigerator at 8°C provided satisfactory results.
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