Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Blume) is a small tropical evergreen from the Laurel family. The harvest is based on taking the wild cinnamon tree, harvesting its leaves for two years, then cutting the tree back to its base. New shoots (multiple) will form at the base of the tree. The cinnamon is harvested by scraping the outer bark from each branch and loosening the inner bark with tools. The inner bark is then removed in long rolls.
It is the thin inner bark used. These strips are a metre long and curl into rolls. The bark is dried and the curls are called quills. The bark is cut into 5-10cm lengths and prepared for sale. It is important that the bark is processed immediately after removal whilst it still retains moisture. It only takes 4-6 hours for the bark to dry in a suitable well aired warm environment.
Incorrect drying may result in pest infestation and the bark being sprayed which is quite unsatisfactory and reduces the value of the cinnamon bark dramatically. The drying process is critical.
The original pure cinnamon has been grown in Sri Lanka for millennia. It is also grown in Southern India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Egypt, Brazil the West indies, Vietnam, Java, Sumatra and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka is recognised as producing 90% of the worlds true Cinnamon – Pure Cinnamon.
Cinnamon is graded in quality as follows:
|Alba||less than 16mm in diameter|
|C5 Special||less than 16mm in diameter|
|C5||less than 16mm in diameter|
|C4||less than 16mm in diameter|
|M5||less than 19mm in diameter|
|M4||less than 19mm in diameter|
|H1||less than 32mm in diameter|
|H2||less than 32mm in diameter|
Ceylon Cinnamon has a subtle fragrance when compared to Cassia Cinnamon. It is deemed somewhat more refined in its flavour and aroma.
Pennington Biomedical Research Center published a paper in 2014 on the medical benefits of cinnamon. Special points of interest included:
- True cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka
- Cinnamon contains antioxidants
- Cinnamon helps regulate blood glucose and insulin levels
- Cinnamon normalizes blood lipids such as triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL cholesterol
- Water soluble compounds from cinnamon can help reduce inflammation and could be used as an adjuvant in inflammatory diseases
To read the full paper, please follow the link below...
Pennington Nutrition Series No.40 2014 Cinnamon