The Chemistry of Cinnamon


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Cinnamon is a spice that can be acquired from the inside of the bark of certain trees. The trees that it comes from are in the genus cinnamomum. I chose to do cinnamon for my project because I have been eating foods with cinnamon in them for years and really enjoy foods with cinnamon. I wanted to learn more about it because I really did not know what it was. Cinnamon is used worldwide and is one of the most used spices in the world.

Composition of ...

  • Cinnamaldehyde

    • C9H8O

  • Cinnamate

    • C11H12O2

  • Cinnamic Acid

    • C9H8O2

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

  • Cinnamaldehyde

    • How- Occurs naturally in nature in cinnamon or can be synthesized in a lab

    • What- Yellow liquid that is found in bark of cinnamon trees

    • When- Can be found when cinnamon trees start acquiring bark

    • Why- Gives cinnamon its distinct odor and flavor

    • Where- Bark of trees in the genus cinnamomum

  • Cinnamic Acid

    • How- Found in oils of cinnamon

    • What- White compound

    • When- When cinnamon’s oils are extracted from the bark of the tree

    • Why- Can be used in flavorings or certain kinds of pharmaceuticals

    • Where- Essential oils found in cinnamon

Chemistry's Role

Both cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid occur naturally in nature. They can also be made in a lab. Cinnamaldehyde can be produced by steam distilling the oils in cinnamon and cinnamic acid can be obtained from a process known as Aldol condensation or by using cinnamaldehyde and benzal chloride to create cinnamic acid.

Background Research

  • Cinnamaldehyde- Organic compound

  • Cinnamate- Essential oil of cinnamon

  • Cinnamic Acid- Organic compound

  • Comes from the bark of the trees

  • Genus- Cinnamomum

  • Ceylon cinnamon- thought to be real cinnamon

  • Cassia cinnamon- China, most common type of cinnamon to the U.S.

  • Ceylon cinnamon- Comes from Sri Lanka

  • Bark rolled into curls, then used as a spice


  • Main information about cinnamon and its uses and structure

  • Information about trees in the cinnamomum genus

  • Information about types of cinnamon and where they are from

  • Information about the many uses of cinnamon

  • Information about types of cinnamon

  • Information about when cinnamon was first used and how

  • Information about how cinnamon is used

  • Information about how cinnamon is used

  • How it is used medically

  • Information about how cinnamon is made and turned into its final form that we see it as

  • Information about where cinnamon comes from

About the Author
Brooks Zimmer is a junior at Senior high school. He enjoys playing all kinds of sports. He plays baseball and basketball and would like to continue to play baseball in college and maybe beyond.