Background: Traditional drug discovery approaches are mainly relied on the observed phenotypic changes following administration of a plant extract, drug candidate or natural product. Recently, target-based approaches are becoming more popular. The present study aimed to identify the cellular targets of crocin, the bioactive dietary carotenoid present in saffron, using an affinity-based method.Methods: Heart, kidney and brain tissues of BALB/c mice were homogenized and extracted for the experiments.Target deconvolution was carried out by first passing cell lysate through an affinity column prepared by covalently attaching crocin to agarose beads. Isolated proteins were separated on a 2D gel, trypsinized in situ and identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. MASCOT search engine was used to analyze Mass Data.Results: Part of proteome that physically interacts with crocin was found to consist of beta-actin-like protein 2, cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 1, ATP synthase subunit beta, tubulin beta-3 chain, tubulin beta-6 chain, 14-3-3 protein beta/alpha, V-type proton ATPase catalytic subunitA, 60 kDa heat shock protein, creatine kinase b-type, peroxiredoxin-2, cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 2, acetyl-coA acetyltransferase, cytochrome c1, proteasome subunit alpha type-6 and proteasome subunit alpha type-4.Conclusion: The present findings revealed that crocin physically binds to a wide range of cellular proteins such as structural proteins, membrane transporters, and enzymes involved in ATP and redox homeostasis and signal transduction.