When the entirety of the range of Spices is considered it is Cinnamon that takes the pride of place not only in respect of export value but also in terms of quality.
Cinnamon was a precious spice in the west during 14th-15th centuries and its’ primary use was to preserve meat and to retard the growth of bacteria. The quest for cinnamon was a major factor which led to the exploration of the world in 15th century. By that time the real true cinnamon was produced in only one place, namely in Ceylon or Sri Lanka.
Cinnamon is a unique plant which has essential oil in leaves, bark and roots composition of them are completely different from each other. Essential Oils are produced from both bark and leaves.
The flavor of cinnamon is due to an aromatic that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. The pungent taste and scent are due to cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaidehyde (about 90% of the essential oil from the bark) Other chemical components of the essential oil include ethyl cinnamate, eugenol (found mostly in the leaves), beta-caryophyllene, linalool and methyl chavicol.