Ceylon Cinnamon

Ceylon Cinnamon (5)

Saturday, 14 November 2020 12:37

Five ways to use Ceylon Cinnamon

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Spices are not only flavors, most of their components can make your life more healthy and tasty. People add spices to their day today food as a tradition, as a habit or as a medicine. But did you know that these spices are the core of many dishes and bakery items as well. Among all those awesome spices Ceylon Cinnamon or True Cinnamon is one of the key players in many dishes. Here are some few best ways where you can use Ceylon Cinnamon in day today life which you can take the maximum benefit of Cinnamon.

The Cinnamon most often found in Super markets is Cassia Cinnamon except in Sri Lanka. But mark my words, you can't compare this Cassia Cinnamon or Fake Cinnamon with Ceylon Cinnamon which also called true Cinnamon. The rich aroma and all the medicinal properties of True Cinnamon will provide your dishes a distinct flavor as well as healthy diet. Here are some ways which and why you can use Ceylon Cinnamon for a healthy life and a tasteful meal.

1. A healthy digestion with Cinnamon
High fiber content in Cinnamon helps you to maintain a better digestive health. Here you can use both Cinnamon Powder and Cinnamon Sticks for your evening tea or with some clean water. You can measure the amount of cinnamon you consume if you use Cinnamon Powder.

2. An answer for Cold and Flu
Cold and flu are the most common illnesses which hit us many times a year. But you can't let them to take your day-off from work. Cinnamon is a better medicine for it. Low coumarin content in Ceylon Cinnamon is ideal as a remedy for cold and flu. You can use Ceylon Cinnamon along with your diet, either to food items or with a beverage. As per your requirement you can use whole sticks, powder or extract. Also a cup of hot water mixed with cinnamon will also control your running nose.

3. As a good remedy for loose your weight
Ceylon Cinnamon helps the weight loss by lowering your cholesterol levels. Here are some ways to add Ceylon Cinnamon to your diet to help weight loss.
- Mix Cinnamon with some honey and lemon and consume daily.
- Take a cinnamon mixed cup of water during the day.
- Add some Cinnamon to your beverages such as coffee, juices or drinks.
- Add some cinnamon to your meal when cooking.
- When consuming oats or cereals add some cinnamon on them.

4. Cinnamon as a better Skin cure.
You can use Ceylon Cinnamon to glow your skin and makes you more youthful. Due to the antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities of Cinnamon, it aids in enhancing the complexion as well as removal of dead skin and restoring glow of your skin. All you need to do is make a simple scrub using sea salt, olive oil, almond oil, honey and finally Ceylon Cinnamon and use as usual. This will helps to improve your blood flow to the outer surface of your skin as well.

5. Moreover add more cinnamon to your diet because in one table spoon of Cinnamon there are four grams of fiber, zero fat and sugar, 68% of manganese and 8% calcium. So adding Cinnamon to your food can enhance the nutrition levels of the food you consume. Cinnamon will add a unique taste and an extra glamour to your meal for its distinct aroma. Let this grate Sri Lankan Spice to add an extra flavor to your meal while helping you to retain a healthy well-being.

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Ceylon Cinnamon or True Cinnamon which are commercially cultivated, harvested and processed in Sri Lanka are the only source of True Cinnamon to the world spice market. Sri Lanka produces Ceylon Cinnamon by peeling off the thin bark of the tree C.zeylanicum of the Lauraceae family which is native to Sri Lanka and drying it while rolling them in to quills. Making quills is unique to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Cinnamon farmers produces few grades of Ceylon Cinnamon depending on few parameters which are given by the Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka. These grades are mainly depend on their outer appearance, moisture content, length of a quill, diameter of a quill and foxing. And these grades have respective prices along with those quality parameters.

- Ceylon Cinnamon Grades:

- Alba:
Maximum diameter of a quill - 06 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 45
% of rough quills per kg - None
Minimum length of quills in a bail - 200
Maximum % of single quality quills per bail - 01

- C00000 Special (C5Sp):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 06 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 35
% of rough quills per kg - 10
Minimum length of quills in a bail - 200
Maximum % of single quality quills per bail - 01

- C00000 (C5):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 10 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 31
% of rough quills per kg - 10

- C0000 (C4):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 13 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 24
% of rough quills per kg - 10

- C000 (C3):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 16 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 22
% of rough quills per kg - 15

- C00 (C2):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 17 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 20
% of rough quills per kg - 20

- C0 (C1):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 19 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 18
% of rough quills per kg - 25

- M00000 Special (M5sp):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 16 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 22
% of rough quills per kg - 50
Minimum length of quills in a bail - 200
Maximum % of single quality quills per bail - 02

- M00000 (M5):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 16 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 22
% of rough quills per kg - 60

- M0000 (M4):
Maximum diameter of a quill - 19 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 18
% of rough quills per kg - 60

- H1:
Maximum diameter of a quill - 23 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 11
% of rough quills per kg - 25
Minimum length of quills in a bail - 150
Maximum % of single quality quills per bail - 30

- H2:
Maximum diameter of a quill - 25 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 09
% of rough quills per kg - 40

- H3:
Maximum diameter of a quill - 38 mm
Minimum number of 42 inch whole quills per kg - 07
% of rough quills per kg - 60

The availability of relevant grades will depend on the weather and many other conditions in Cinnamon growing areas in Sri Lanka.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020 13:16

True Cinnamon vs Cassia

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Did you know that there are two kinds of Cinnamon in the world where one is healthy and true and other one is respectively unhealthy and fake?

Yes there are. True Cinnamon also known as Ceylon Cinnamon which is native to the South Asian island Sri Lanka is the one and only True Cinnamon in the world. And the fake cinnamon or it is called as Chinese Cinnamon or Cassia Cinnamon is the second one. These two varieties have identical features where we can identify Ceylon Cinnamon from Cassia Cinnamon easily.

In Sri Lanka, Ceylon Cinnamon is produced using the bark of the tender shoots of the plant ‘Cinnamomum verum’ which are mainly cultivated in South and Central region of the country. The thin bark is then dried in the sun and rolled together by hand into long "quills", which are later graded and cut into custom sizes. Cassia Cinnamon is produced using the bark of the plant ‘"Cinnamomim cassia’ which is mainly cultivated in Tropical Forests in Southern China. The strips of the inner bark are dried in the sun and curl up naturally forming thick shards. Identically Ceylon Cinnamon bark is thin and rolled using few dried barks to a quill where Cassia Cinnamon has a single curled bark when dried.

When it comes to the flavours True Cinnamon has a medium sweet taste, but rather it enhances the perception of sweetness in other ingredients. This makes it perfect for sweet bakes and desserts, and for drawing out sweet notes in savoury dishes. Cassia Cinnamon has a sweet, warming taste, but it is bitter and lacks the floral and citrus notes of True Cinnamon. Its deeper, spicier and has a less subtle flavor.

The absence of Coumarin in True Cinnamon and presence of Coumerin in Cassia is the main reason which emphasizes True Cinnamon is much healthier than Cassia Cinnamon. Coumarin is a flavouring substance which is contained in relatively high concentrations in Cassia Cinnamon. In especially sensitive persons, even comparatively small quantities of coumarin can cause temporary liver damages and increase the risk of cancer.

Also True Cinnamon sticks has a lighter brown and fragile appearance with a smooth texture and easy to snap or break while Cassia Cinnamon's bark is darker, thicker and more loosely coiled and harder to snap or break.

In the world market most of the ground cinnamon contains Cassia Cinnamon than True Cinnamon where True Cinnamon powder is majorly produced and exported from Sri Lanka.

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Sunday, 09 June 2019 07:26

Ceylon Cinnamon Vs Cassia

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Cennamomum zeylanicum blume’ the plant which is indigenous to Sri Lanka produces the True Ceylon Cinnamon which is proved by it’s own name. Ceylon Cinnamon cannot originate from elsewhere in the world and has a higher demand because of that factor. So, true to its name, this small island has an authentic variety of Ceylon Spices which is well renown in the globe. Among those Spices Ceylon Cinnamon plays the major role and has some superior features which uplifts its value among other Spices and other substitutes like Cassia (Chinese Cinnamon) which competes and misleads people with Cinnamon. Moreover Ceylon Cinnamon is much less majorly found than Cassia Cinnamon in the context of the global market. It’s beyond dispute, however, that there’re discernible differences between the two. Let us explore the significant dissimilarities as our topic at the top.

First let’s focus the Visible Characteristics between Ceylon Cinnamon & Cassia Cinnamon.
- When it comes to colour Ceylon Cinnamon has a tan brown whereas Cassia Cinnamon has a reddish dark brown.
- And the texture of Ceylon Cinnamon is thin, feels like a paper and forms multiple layers when rolled after drying. But Cassia Cinnamon has a rougher thick bark which forms few layers when rolled up or has a visible empty cavity.
- Also Cassia Cinnamon is bit tougher to grind than Ceylon Cinnamon because of the difference of the fragility between them.

Now to the Flavour and the Taste.
- The authentic taste in Ceylon Cinnamon is delicate and sweet with a pleasant aroma when eating or using as a flavouring agent. In contrast, Cassia Cinnamon has same kind of aroma but the pungency and Spicy flovour is little bit higher than Ceylon Cinnamon.

Why Choose Ceylon Cinnamon over Cassia Cinnamon?
- “Coumarin” the main chemical compound in Cinnamon plays the major role when it comes to health benefits as well as to side effects. Consuming Coumarin over a long period of time can cause some serious health problems and a prior negative impact to the kidneys and liver. So that the amount of Coumarin containing in Cassia Cinnamon is significantly higher than Ceylon Cinnamon.
- It is also believed that Ceylon Cinnamon could help lower the blood sugar level a little and gives a good support to diabetic patients to stop their medications.

How about the Price?
- Because of the above factors we can deduce that Ceylon Cinnamon has a superior quality and an authentic value which increases it’s demand among the people across the globe than Cassia Cinnamon. Hence Ceylon Cinnamon is 10 times or more expensive than Cassia Cinnamon.

That shows how Ceylon Cinnamon ranked as one of the best selling spice in the world over the years and the little island called Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is the only country which produces True Ceylon Cinnamon to the World Market. Because of that significant differences between Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon, Both Ceylon Cinnamon buyers and consumers should seriously consider the above mention factors to differentiate the True Ceylon Cinnamon than Cassia Cinnamon.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015 07:21

How Ceylon Cinnamon was produced and graded.

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Cinnamon is the dried bark of the perennial tree of Cennamomum zeylanicum of the Lauraceae family. True Cinnamon is native to spice island (Sri Lanka). Cinnamon is originally grown wild in central hill country of Sri Lanka. The history of cinnamon dates back to about 2800 B.C where it can be found referenced as Kwai in Chinese writings . But cinnamon is even mentioned in the Bible when Moses used it as an ingredient for his anointing oil in ancient Rome. Cinnamon was a precious spice in the west during 14th - 15th centuries and it’s primary use was to preserve meat and to retard the growth of bacteria. By that time the real cinnamon was produced in only the place, named as Ceylon or Spice Island. Portuguese traders made their way to Ceylon in the 15th century, enslaved the natives and had the control of the trades from Arabs. Since 1815 the British took the control of the island and cinnamon trade too was moved to their hands.

The best historical evidence about the Cinnamon trade in Sri Lanka is found in up country Dutch agreement (Hanguranketha Agreement) signed in 14th February 1766 between the former King of Sri Lanka Sri Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe and the Dutch government. Sri Lankan Cinnamon also known as Pure Ceylon Cinnamon is considered as the True Cinnamon, which is broadly used in both sweet and savory food and beverages industries all around the world, and only grown in Sri Lanka.

In Spice Island, Cinnamon seems to have originated in the central hills where seven wild species of cinnamon occur in Kandy, Matale, Belihulloya, Haputale, Horton Planes and the Sinharaja Forest range. Presently cultivation concentrated along the costal belt from Negombo to Matara it has also made inroads to Kalutara and Rathnapura.

Then we can find different varieties of Ceylon cinnamon. There are eight cinnamon species in Sri Lanka. Among them only Cinnamomum zeylancium blume is grown commercially in tradition. There were several types of cinnamon categorized based on taste of the bark, “Pani -Miris Kurundu “ was the best with sweet - Pungent taste and “Miris-Kurundu”, “Sevel Kurundu” are the others. Currently ten cinnamon accessions have been identified based on yield and quality performances and best two lines, named as “Sri Vijaya” and “Sri Gamunu” were released.

During the harvesting time, the branches are chopped off and entire tress are cut down. The outer bark is peeled off revealing an inner bark, the cinnamon, which curls into a quills as it dries. First harvest of cinnamon can be taken after three years of planting and two harvests can be taken per year. Harvesting is done when the bark colour of the stem turn in to brown and stick diameter is about 3 - 5cm. Branches and leaves are removed from harvested sticks before peeling and harvested stem should be peeled on the same day. During peeling outer skin is scrapped and rubs the bark with a brass rod to be loosened bark from the hard wood. Then peel the bark, part by part, with a special knife and peeled bark is allowed to dry under sun for few hours and when rolling of the bark starts, pieces of bark are connected together and to make a pipe like structure and the standard length of the tube is 42 inches. The hollow of the tube is filled with small pieces of stem and the tubes are left for indoor drying for about 4-7 days. While Ceylon Cinnamon sticks are all made the same way, they are graded according to colour, density, blemishes, essential oil content and other factors .True Ceylon Cinnamon sticks are golden in color and is made up multiple thin slivers of cinnamon bark rolled into a cigar shaped cinnamon sticks. Each individual True Ceylon Cinnamon stick is handcrafted and hand rolled with immaculate skilful technique to perfection. Peeling cinnamon is an art and each cinnamon stick is carefully hand rolled to different cinnamon grades. Ceylon cinnamon sticks are also known as quills. After harvesting and drying, Cinnamon quills curl while the much harder Cassia has a single scroll like curl. Ceylon Cinnamon (True Cinnamon) has a tan color compared to the dark red brown of Cassia Cinnamon. In Sri Lanka, minimal foxing is called “Malkorahedi” while heavy foxing is called “Korahedi”. Whether a cinnamon sticks is called “Malkorahedi” Or “Korahedi” is based on the extent of the foxing patches. Each grades of cinnamon has certain foxing specifications.

According to the spice council of Sri Lanka SLS-81 standard Cinnamon can should have a maximum moisture content of 15%. Ideally it should be less than this, the essential oils in cinnamon sticks which determines the aroma, is specified at a minimum of 1%. Cinnamon quills, with standard lengths and diameters are made out of Ceylon cinnamon - grown and manufactured solely in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Cinnamon is categorised into four major grades as Alba, Continental, Mexican and Hamburg based on the diameter of the quills, where the most expensive (Alba) has a 6mm diameter quill.
Ceylon Cinnamon Grades
- Alba : It is a prized grade of Ceylon cinnamon that is by – far the most expensive. It is slender and brittle and abounds with a sweet taste, pleasant aroma and a powerful flavour.
- SPL : The 2nd best quality after Alba which has a better taste with an absolute taste.
- C5 : This grade of Ceylon Cinnamon is highly sought after its character, taste, smell and excellent flavour.
- C4 : This grade is in highly demanded for its smoothness, exquisite fragrance, pale, tan yellow colour and sweet taste. 16mm in diameter.
- M5 : It is relatively rougher in texture and thinner in appearance.
- M4 : This is made up of chosen parts of high quality cinnamon.
- H1 : Comprise the finest and the most expensive portions of the rough cinnamon bark. Most popular in the South American market.
- H2 : Comprise the sorted portions of the rough cinnamon bark. Thicker than H1 grade. Consists of golden yellow cinnamon quills of high quality.
- Quilling No 1 & No 2 : This grade consists lager a smaller quillings respectively which are collected as a rest of cutting and bailing cinnamon

It is the story of True Ceylon Cinnamon from the day of planting to the final product in Sri Lanka.

Written by :
Ms. H P D Thathsarani,
Higher National Diploma in Agriculture Production Technology (Reading),
Aquinas College of Higher Studies, Sri Lanka.

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