So far, several studies have been conducted on the design and development of new release systems and protection of these compounds against destructive effects. Preservation of bioactive compounds of saffron is possible in certain environmental conditions, these compounds become unstable in temperature, pH, light, oxygen and the presence of metal ions. These biological compounds are degraded in an environment such as the human digestive system and lead to a decrease in bioavailability, which results in a significant reduction in its properties and applications. Changes in the taste and color composition of saffron are due to its shelf life. For instance, crocin is an indicator of the color of saffron, which is highly sensitive to oxygen and oxidizes rapidly in the presence of air. On the other hand, increasing the temperature leads to spontaneous oxidation of this substance. This sensitivity is so high that during the processing and storage of saffron, the amount of crocin decreases, which in turn reduces the intensity of saffron staining. The results of scientific research on different methods of preserving saffron extract indicate that nanotechnology is one of the effective methods to preserve the properties of saffron.
Considering the aforementioned, group of Iranian scientists have succeeded in making a nano-emulsion that not only reduces the consumption of saffron but also increases the efficiency of this product. This nano-emulsion has the color, taste and smell of Iranian saffron and has been made with the aim of controlling the release of beneficial compounds of saffron. Iranian saffron nano-emulsion not only delays the chemical decomposition of compounds, but also increases the solubility of lipids such as fatty acids, omega 3 and natural antioxidants. In other words, in addition to increasing the quality of saffron, it also preserves its physical and chemical properties. The research team used a probationary homogenizer ultrasonic process in the production of this nano-emulsion, which reduces the particle diameter, reduces the consumption of raw material and increases the efficiency of the product.
Nano-emulsions are very fine emulsions or submicron emulsions with a particle size of 50 to 1000 nanometers and this material has a unique structure and properties and therefore has a variety of applications. Emulsion is a heterogeneous system of two immiscible liquids, one of which is dispersed dropwise in the other. Iranian saffron nano-emulsion is the result of 6 years of teamwork of three faculties of agricultural sciences and food industry, environment and natural resources and veterinary medicine. Dr. Hamed Ahari, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, Science and Research Branch, Dr. Seyed Amir Ali Anvar, Assistant Professor, Department of Food Hygiene, Science and Research Branch, Dr. Sara Allahyari, Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Physics, Mehdi Rahimian, Researcher, Industrial Science and Engineering Food and Sima Moradi, a researcher in industrial engineering, are among the members of this research group.