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Picrocrocin is a monoterpene glycoside 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 enzyme glucosidase. The aglycone is then transformed to safranal by dehydration. Picrocrocin is a degradation product of the carotenoid zeaxanthin.


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