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Fake Cinnamon?


My uncle showed me an article about this, so I did the research this morning, and I'm surprised that they're getting away with this in the food industry, but from everything I've been reading, it's par for the course in the modern world of "anything we can get away with to make more money" in the food industry.

Cinnamon VS. Cassia

Real cinnamon has largely been replaced by something called cassia because it is cheaper. Unfortunately, cassia is high in a potentially harmful substance called coumarin.




Can you tell the difference?

Cinnamon Cassia: dark reddish brown, thick and hard, hollow tube, harsh aroma, flat taste, grown in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

True Cinnamon: light tan brown, thin and soft, filled like a cigar, delicate aroma, sweet taste, grown in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

Cassia contains 5% coumarin, while real cinnamon contains no more than 0,004% coumarin.

Cassia may be better in a curry, but it's a lot less healthy. Germany has restricions on cassia.

The cinnamon slime factor...

There are claims that the form of cinnamon used to treat diabetes in studies done in Pakistan was cinnamon cassia, but I haven't seen the data confirming this, so I don't know.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
girfan
Jul. 18th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
I heard about this awhile ago. I did wonder why the cinnamon here was different from the US cinnamon. I think I'll not ask for US cinnamon anymore.
kittenkissies
Jul. 19th, 2008 10:25 am (UTC)
I thought this was banned in the U.S. decades ago!
There was also some fake vanilla, for awhile, that was toxic.
nnnslogan
Jul. 19th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
I've heard that's still around too.

"Coumarin is a the bad guy of the vanilla industry. It is derived from the Brazilian tonka bean from Dipteryx ordorata, a tree. The bean can be used to make flavoring very similar to vanilla. Sadly the concoction is dreadfully toxic and can cause liver damage and is a know carcinogen."

http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/vanilla.htm
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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George Edward Purdy
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