The Chemistry of Cinnamon


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.