New Quality Standards for Ceylon Cinnamon
Export Agriculture Division : SLEDB 2013
Importance of Introducing New Quality Standards for Ceylon Cinnamon
Cinnamon was one of the first traded spices of the ancient world. Cinnamon was a popular spice in the ancient Arab world and Arab traders have paved the way for Cinnamon to travel a long distance through the spice route to the Europen market. Cinnamon has motivated many historical voyages leading to discovery of New World by Christopher Columbus and Vasco De Gamma to Sri Lanka & South India.
Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinamomum Zylanicum) a plant indigenous to Sri Lanka is a moderately size bushy ever green tree. Cinnamon grown and produced in Sri Lanka has acquired long standing reputation in the international market due to its unique, quality, colour, flavour and aroma. The name Ceylon Cinnamon derived from the former name of Sri Lanka is a very established geographical indication for Cinnamon.
Cinnamon is the most important and valuable spice produced in Sri Lanka. Before the advent of modern food preservation technology Europeans have used Cinnamon with Pepper to preserve meet products. Cinnamon is used in bakery products, Asian foods and flavoured tea for its distinctive aroma & flavour. With growing concern on health hazards associated with synthetic flavouring agents used in the food industry there is an increasing preference for natural flavours world wide
The unique method of processing and curing of cinnamon entices the characteristic Flavour over cassia. The preparation of Cinnamon quills involves a combination of art and skill unique to Sri Lanka and has been handed down from generation to generation over centuries. Value added Cinnamon products such as Cinnamon oil, Cinnamon powder and Tablets are also produced and exported to large number of countries.
The Ceylon Cinnamon belongs to the family Lauraceae and it contains about 250 species and sub species. ‘Ceylon Cinnamon’ (Cinamomum Zeylanicum Blume) and Cassia are the more important ones that are traded in the international market. Cassia is originated from different countries such as China, Vietnam region, Java region, Indonesia and India. ‘Ceylon Cinnamon’ referred to as “sweet cinnamon” and “true cinnamon” is considered superior to the variety known as Cassia.
Cinnamon As a Food item
As a Spices: Cinnamon is the most important and valuable spice produced in Sri Lanka. Value added Cinnamon produced such as Cinnamon oil, Cinnamon powder & tablets are also produced in Sri Lanka for export to large number of countries. Cinnamon is used in bakery products, Asian foods, flavoured tea for its distinctive aroma and flavour and also in the preservation of certain foods.
Health Aspect of the Cinnamon: Therapeutic effect of cinnamon against diabetic and hypertension is now well established. Polyphonic called cennamatannin, a proanthocyanaidins found in cinnamon is responsible to the above effects.
At present Cinnamon is widely used as a food ingredient, in the pharmaceutical preparations & in the cosmetics industry world wide. Being high in antioxidants it is good for overall health. Volatile oil of Cinnamon is widely used in perfumes, cosmetics and scented exotic gifts.
USA & Mexico are the main markets for Ceylon Cinnamon. Colombia, Equador, Peru, Spain, Gautemala, Chile and Bolivia are the other countries which consume a considerable amount of Ceylon Cinnamon. Sri Lanka has an immense potential to penetrate into niche market segments in the International market. Sri Lanka’s exports represent 41.13% of world exports for this product, its ranking in world exports is 1(Trademap2012).
Branding Of Ceylon Cinnamon
Branding of Pure Ceylon Cinnamon and promoting it as a global brand in target markets is very important to highlight the main characteristics of the Ceylon Cinnamon and differentiate the Cinnamon from Cassia to gain the comparative advantage. Accordingly Ceylon Cinnamon has introduced to the international market as a branded product namely “Pure Ceylon Cinnamon” which reflects a combination of several intrinsic characteristics discussed earlier. EDB has completed the registration of ‘Pure Ceylon Cinnamon’ trademark in Europe and USA and obtained the certificates of registration from both countries.
Importance of Establishing New Quality Standards
- Cinnamon Pre Inspection Scheme (CPIS) is mainly to ensure export of quality Cinnamon to international market
Quality determines the value of Cinnamon exports which helps to reach the target of US $500mn in 2015
- Problems are encountered due to quality failures of exported cinnamon in international market and there is a risk of losing international market for Sri Lankan Cinnamon
- As a country we have to ensure that Sri Lanka exports good quality products to international market
- Quality products are more competitive in the international market and increase the confidence in food products .Quality needs for high level protection of consumer/human health
Inoka Nilmini Wanasinghe – Assistant Director
Export Agriculture Division
Sri Lanka Export Development Board
Colombo, Sri Lanka