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E-Journal of Chemistry
Volume 9 (2012), Issue 2, Pages 918-925

Indirect Electrochemical Analysis of Crocin in Phytochemical Sample

Chemical Technology Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar-470003, Madhya Pradesh, India

Received 2 July 2011; Accepted 4 October 2011

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A new electroanalytical method has been developed for the quantitative determination of crocin in a sample of stigmas of saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Crocin is polarographically inactive. However, cysteine in 0.02 M NaCl, pH=5.2±0.01 produces a well defined wave/peak with E1/2/Ep= –0.47/–0.45 V vs. Ag/AgCl. On recording polarograms of a set of solution containing a fixed concentration of cysteine and varying concentrations of crocin under aforesaid experimental conditions a gradual decrease in peak height/diffusion current and a negative shift in peak potential was observed. Thus, indicating cysteine-crocin interaction. Amperometric titration indicated crocin to cysteine ratio of 1:2. The above amperometric titration procedure has been used to determine the concentration of crocin in a sample of saffron. Crystallization process was carried out for the extraction of crocin from dried powder of saffron stigmas. The crystallized crocin was identified by UV-Visible spectrophotometry(at 255 nm and 442 nm) and the quantitative analysis by the developed amperometric method. The concentration of crocin in saffron was found to be 2.13% and purity of isolated crocin 96.81%. The percent recovery varied from 98.56–100.31% and RSD (n=5) of 2.17%.The validation of the proposed procedure for the quantitative assay of crocin was examined via an evaluation of the repeatability, recovery, selectivity and relative standard deviation.