Picrocrocin is a monoterpeneglycoside precursor of safranal. It is found in the spice saffron, which comes from the crocus flower. Picrocrocin has a bitter taste and is the chemical most responsible for the taste of saffron.
During the drying process picrocrocin liberates the aglycone (HTCC, C<sub>10</sub>H<sub>16</sub>O<sub>2</sub>) due to the action of the enzymeglucosidase. The aglycone is then transformed to safranal by dehydration. Picrocrocin is a degradation product of the carotenoidzeaxanthin.