Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cinnamaldehyde, major component of cinnamon bark essential oil

Cinnamon bark have spicy, sweet, and woody aroma. It is widely used as a flavoring agent in many foods. In Indonesia, people use it as important ingredient for "kolak", a type of dessert or an appetizer that is often served during iftar, made from coconut milk and banana. It gives a delicious aroma. So what exactly is the major component of cinnamon bark essential oil and what is its impact on the aroma? As in other Southeast Asian countries, such as the form of raw cinnamon bark, is more widely used in traditional Indonesian food , rather than the form of essential oil. This plant has been cultivated as a commercial crop in this country since the occupation period of the Dutch East Indies. Even the major export is in the form of dried cinnamon bark (95 %), the rest is powder. Depending on the type of raw material, it shows distinctly different characteristics. It has a major component that gives a distinctive character. The major component of cinnamon bark essential oil is cinnamaldehyde. Beside that, it contains α - pinene, α - phellandrene, β - phellandrene, (E)- caryophillene, (E)-cinnamyl acetate, benzaldehyde, coumarin, linalool, safrole, 1,8-cineole and sometimes eugenol in varying amounts. Cinnamaldehyde gives pungent aroma and flavor to cinnamon bark essential oil. Therefore, the product of Cinnamomum cassia varieties, which showed high cinnamaldehyde content, has a pungent aroma, so that these varieties are used as raw materials of drugs. While the essential oil of Cinnamomum zeylanicum has a soft flavor because of its low cinnamaldehyde levels. In foods, the major component of cinnamon bark essential oil may act as antioxidant and antimicrobial agent.

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