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Processing Cinnamon Cassia

A small amount of a third type, cassia vera, produced mainly in Java, Celebes and other neighbouring islands, is exported mainly from Makassar, the German Federal Republic being the chief importers.
by TimothyFidelma


A small amount of a third type, cassia vera, produced mainly in Java, Celebes and other neighbouring islands, is exported mainly from Makassar, the German Federal Republic being the chief importers.

Chinese cassia has been simplified during the twenty years (1954-74) during which this product was prohibited from the US market. Formerly, two grades of broken quills of Kwantung cassia (cassia iignea) and three grades of whole quills of the superior Kwangsi cassia, all differing in thickness of the bark were,offered, but Chinese cassia is now available only in two forms, whole quills and broken (No. 1 and No. 2, the latter being cheaper), either scraped or unscraped according to demand. The quality of the cassia depends upon its colour, its thickness and its oil content.

Kwantung cassia has an oil content of at least 1.7 ml per 100 g, and Kwangsi 3.4 to 4.0 ml per 100 g, according to information provided in 1974 by the Native Product Corporation, Peking (via the British Embassy). This contrasts with Landes (1951), who reported that best quality Kwangsi cassia contained 2 to 2.75 per cent volatile oil and Kwantung 1.0 to 1.2 per cent.

Seychelles Cinnamon is variously graded as compound quills, simple quills and quillings, thin scraped hark and rough unscraped bark. The last grade is the largest export, and is used largely in the formulation of mixed spices. Its essential-oil content is low, and according to trade opinion, averages about 0.8 per cent.

Malagasy cinnamon was customarily offered to the market in both its unscraped and scraped forms; but latterly the bark has been offered as 'mixed', whereby sometimes the scraped bark is packed separately within the bales composing the lot, and at other times it is packed unscraped and scraped within the same bale. Its essential-oil content averages about 0.7 per cent. The use of Malagasy cinnamon are similar to those of Seychelles cinnamon, which it closely resembles.

The Korintji and Padang (syn. Batavia) forms are graded by appearance into A, B, C and D types according to length, colour and quality, and are sold on their content of volatile oil. The USA is the main importer of Indonesian cassia, and experience there shows that the volatile-oil content usually varies between 1.3 per cent for Korintji C and 4 per cent for Korintji A, and between 1 per cent for Batavia C and 2.7 per cent for Batavia A. There is one other grade, Batavia AA, where the oil content is of little importance since the product is sold (in the USA) for packing in glass bottles where appearance is all-important.

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