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J Nat Med. 2009 Jul;63(3):261-6. doi: 10.1007/s11418-009-0326-8. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Influence of composition upon the variety of tastes in Cinnamomi cortex.

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Department of Pharmacognosy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Kyoto University, 46-29 Yoshida-Shimoadachi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan.


Cinnamomi cortex, which is normally referred to as cinnamon, is a very popular spice as well as an important natural medicine. High-quality cinnamon is traditionally believed to taste sweet and be strongly pungent without astringency. Cinnamomi cortex with larger amounts of cinnamaldehyde was sweeter in taste comparisons. The contents of tannins and sugars in cinnamon powder had little effect on the taste. Evaluations of the sweetness and pungency of cinnamaldehyde solutions (0.1, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, and 5.0 mg/ml) were performed using volunteers. The scores for sweetness increased significantly from 0.10 to 0.50 mg/ml (P < 0.05, Mann-Whitney U-test), but there was no significant difference above 0.75 mg/ml. The concentration threshold for the sweet taste of cinnamaldehyde appeared to be less than 0.75 mg/ml, and the more concentrated solutions gave excessive pungency. Therefore, two contrastive tastes of Cinnamomi cortex, sweet and pungent, were both attributed to cinnamaldehyde. Consequently, its taste, one of its indices of quality, seems to vary mainly according to the content of cinnamaldehyde.

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