Chemical structure of crocin.

Crocin is a natural carotenoid chemical compound that is found in the flowers crocus and gardenia.[1] It is the diester formed from the disaccharide gentiobiose and the dicarboxylic acid crocetin. It has a deep red color and forms crystals with a melting point of 186 °C. When dissolved in water, it forms an orange solution.

Crocin is the chemical ingredient primarily responsible for the color of saffron.

Physiological effects in mammalian tissues and organisms

Crocin has been shown to be a potent antioxidant.[2][3][4] It has also been shown to have an anticarcinogenic action. [5][6][7] Crocin has been shown to have antidepressant properties,[8][9], and one study reports aphrodisiac properties.[10]


  1. ^ "Chemical Information". Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  2. ^ Papandreou MA, Kanakis CD, Polissiou MG, Efthimiopoulos S, Cordopatis P, Margarity M, Lamari FN. (2006). "Inhibitory activity on amyloid-beta aggregation and antioxidant properties of Crocus sativus stigmas extract and its crocin constituents". J Agric Food Chem. 54 (23): 8762–8. doi:10.1021/jf061932a. PMID 17090119. 
  3. ^ Ochiai T et al. (2006). "Protective effects of carotenoids from saffron on neuronal injury in vitro and in vivo". Biochim Biophys Acta. 1770 (4): 578–584. doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2006.11.012. PMID 17215084. 
  4. ^ Zheng YQ, Liu JX, Wang JN, Xu L. (2006). "Effects of crocin on reperfusion-induced oxidative/nitrative injury to cerebral microvessels after global cerebral ischemia". Brain Res. 1138: 86–94. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2006.12.064. PMID 17274961. 
  5. ^ Escribano J, Alonso GL, Coca-Prados M, Fernandez JA. (1996). "Crocin, safranal and picrocrocin from saffron (Crocus sativus L.) inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in vitro". Cancer Letters 100 (1–2): 22–30. doi:10.1016/0304-3835(95)04067-6. PMID 8620447. 
  6. ^ Chryssanthi DG, Lamari FN, Iatrou G, Pylara A, Karamanos NK, Cordopatis P. (2007). "Inhibition of breast cancer cell proliferation by style constituents of different Crocus species". Anticancer Research 27 (1A): 357–62. PMID 17352254. 
  7. ^ Abdullaev Jafarova F, Caballero-Ortega H, Riverón-Negrete L, Pereda-Miranda R, Rivera-Luna R, Manuel Hernández J, Pérez-López I, Espinosa-Aguirre JJ. (2002). "In vitro evaluation of the chemopreventive potential of saffron". Rev. Invest. Clin. 54 (5): 430–6. PMID 12587418. 
  8. ^ "Antidepressant effect of Crocus sativus L. stigma extracts and their constituents, crocin and safranal, in mice.". Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  9. ^ "Comparison of Crocus sativus L. and imipramine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: A pilot double-blind randomized trial ISRCTN45683816". BMC complementary and alternative medicine ( 4: 12. 2004. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-4-12. PMC 517724. PMID 15341662. 
  10. ^ . PMID 17962007. 

See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Crocin — Cro cin (kr? s?n), n. [Gr. ???? saffron.] (Chem.) (a) The coloring matter of Chinese yellow pods, the fruit of {Gardenia grandiflora}. Watts. (b) A red powder (called also {polychroite}), which is made from the saffron ({Crocus sativus}). See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Crocin — u. Crocetin (Chem.), s.u. Polychroit …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Crocīn — C58H86O31, findet sich in den chinesischen Gelbschoten (Gardenia grandiflora) und wird aus deren alkoholischem Extrakt abgeschieden. Es ist morgenrot, geruchlos, amorph, löst sich in Wasser und Alkohol, sehr schwer in Äther, bildet mit verdünnten …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Crocin — Crocīn oder Polychroit, Farbstoff des Safrans, zerfällt beim Kochen mit Säuren in Zucker und Crocetin; dient zum Gelbfärben …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Crocin —   [zu griechisch krókeos »safrangelb«] das, s, der gelbe Hauptfarbstoff des Safrans; besteht aus dem an beiden Carboxylgruppen mit Gentiobiose veresterten Crocetin.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Crocin — Strukturformel Allgemeines Name Crocin Summenformel C …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • crocin — ˈkrōsən, sə̇n noun ( s) Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary croc (from Latin crocus saffron) + in; probably originally formed in German more at crocus : a yellow glycoside C44H64 …   Useful english dictionary

  • crocin — Polychroite Pol y*chro*ite, n. [Poly + Gr. ? color: cf. F. polychro[ i]te.] (Chem.) The coloring matter of saffron; formerly so called because of the change of color on treatment with certain acids; called also {crocin}, and {safranin}. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • crocin — noun A natural carotenoid that is found in the flowers crocus and gardenia …   Wiktionary

  • Crocin — Cro|cin [kro tsi:n] das; s <zu gr. krókeos »safrangelb« u. ↑> gelber Hauptfarbstoff des Safrans …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

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