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Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that can be used in both sweet and savoury foods. The origin of cinnamon remained a mystery until the sixteenth century.
Cinnamon use has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BCE. Cinnamon is mentioned in the Old Testament in the form of consecrated incense. Long kept a trade secret, in 1290 the source of cinnamon was discovered to be Sri Lanka.
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Cinnamon spice is harvested by removing the inner bark of the branch, which is cut into dried rolls called quills. Sri Lanka cinnamon has a very thin, smooth bark with a light-yellowish brown color and a highly fragrant aroma.
The flavor of cinnamon is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 1% of its total composition. Cinnamon oil has a hot, aromatic taste and a pungent characteristic scent. It is used widely as a spice, as a condiment and for flavoring. Cinnamon is also used in the preparation of desserts, chocolate, candies and liqueurs.
Cinnamon may be taken medicinally as an antioxidant, for treatment of colds, toothache and bad breath.
Organic production fosters cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards. Organic farming excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers, pesticides (which include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides), plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms.