There are several different species of cinnamon that make up the world’s supply including “Cassia” which is most commonly sold in the United States and Canada. Two-thirds of cassia cinnamon is grown from trees in Indonesia with the rest coming from Vietnam, China and Burma. Another species of cinnamon, referred to as “true” cinnamon, or Ceylon, is primarily grown in Sri Lanka.
Cassia cinnamon has a variety of health benefits. It may provide anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties in multiple species and can be used as a flavor enhancer to improve palatability. Cinnamon may be used to improve gut health, feed conversion in poultry and as a rumen modifier in cattle.
Here at Olam, our cinnamon is sourced directly from our grower partners in Vietnam and Indonesia. The reddish-brown inner bark of evergreen trees is harvested by peeling back the outer bark in a hands-on and environmentally-friendly way. The bark is then processed into powder at our state-of-the-art facility in Bien Hoa, Vietnam.
One of the world’s oldest spices, cinnamon was once used in embalming and religious practices in Egypt. It is likely that Egyptian cinnamon in Pharaonic times was mainly cassia, much of which came from China, where large groves of trees grew around the city of Kweilin.
The Roman empire imported large quantities of cinnamon mostly used in perfumes and fragrances, while it was valued as a cooking spice in Mexico, Asiatic countries, Arabia and North Africa. Cinnamon was once more valuable than gold and even the most profitable spice in the Dutch East India Company trade.