Ceylon cinnamon Powder – A Complete Guide for Consumers

  1. What is Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  2. How to Prepare Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  3. Source Materials of Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
  4. Protection of Chemical Properties While Grinding Ceylon Cinnamon
  5. Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder
  6. Inner Bark / Outer Bark of Ceylon Cinnamon
  7. How to Identify Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  8. How to Use Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  9. How to Store Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  10. Standards for Ceylon cinnamon powder
  11. Does Ceylon Cinnamon Powder have any Potential Health Benefits?
  12. Where to Buy Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  13. What is the Best Ceylon Cinnamon Powder to Buy?
  14. Is it Safe to Take Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  15. How Much Ceylon Cinnamon Powder per Day?
  16. Which is Better, Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks or Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?
  17. Who we are?


What is Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

Ceylon cinnamon Powder

Ceylon cinnamon Powder

Ceylon cinnamon powder, also known as ground Ceylon cinnamon, is the spice powder prepared from the dried inner bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree. Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum syn. Cinnamomum verum) is the cinnamon variety indigenous to Sri Lanka.

The term “Ceylon” denotes geographical origin. It is a former name for Sri Lanka. The term “cinnamon” denotes the specific species of the plant.

Ceylon cinnamon is the rare and most expensive cinnamon variety. The production of Ceylon cinnamon is only 10% of the whole cinnamon production in the world. Sri Lanka holds a monopoly on that production and approximately 98 % of Ceylon cinnamon production is prepared and exported as quills (sticks). Balance is exported in various forms, including Ceylon cinnamon powder.

How to Prepare Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

The simplest way to prepare Ceylon cinnamon powder (ground cinnamon) is by grinding Ceylon cinnamon sticks using a home grinder. In addition, Ceylon ground cinnamon is commercially available to purchase.

1. Preparation of ground cinnamon using a home grinder

You can turn your cinnamon sticks into powder using a home grinder. This process will generate fresh and pure cinnamon powder for you. Own preparation allows you to prepare your cinnamon powder with known cinnamon sticks (source). In addition, you can make the required quantity time by time without storing pre-prepared powder. You may know ground spices lose flavour, aroma and properties faster than whole spices.

2. Purchase commercially available Ceylon cinnamon powder

You can purchase ground Ceylon cinnamon directly from a retail or online store. The purchase of ground cinnamon is an easy and time-saving option for daily consumers. We recommend you purchase powder from a fresh batch and a trusted source. Limit your purchase to enough for a month or two without purchasing a large quantity once. You can repurchase fresh Ceylon cinnamon powder when the portion is finished.

As per our identification, most commercially available cheap Ceylon cinnamon powder is not sourced from Ceylon cinnamon. The powder colours of some products are different from Ceylon cinnamon. In powder form, it is easy to mix with low-quality cinnamon powder or use low-quality Ceylon cinnamon as the source. Purchase from a reputed and trusted seller is essential in purchasing powder forms of spices.


Different Source Materials of Commercially Available Ground Ceylon Cinnamon

Commercially available Ceylon cinnamon powder is prepared using different sources of Ceylon cinnamon.

1. Standard Ceylon cinnamon sticks (quills)

The output is premium quality Ceylon cinnamon powder. The cost and selling price are high due to the use of sticks.

2. Low-quality Ceylon cinnamon sticks (quills)

This stick type consists of standard inner bark filled with low-quality, unpeeled, or partially peeled bark. The powder is mixed with outer bark accordingly.

3. Ceylon cinnamon quillings

The quillings are broken pieces of Ceylon cinnamon sticks while processing Ceylon cinnamon. This includes broken pieces while preparing sticks by farmers (primary preparation), pieces while preparing for the market by processors (secondary preparation), and broken pieces while transporting.

4. Ceylon cinnamon featherings

Featherings are dried pieces of the inner bark of Ceylon cinnamon obtained by peeling or scraping of Ceylon cinnamon tree.

5. Ceylon cinnamon off-cuts

Cut-offs are the remaining small parts of cut cinnamon. Peelers prepare Ceylon cinnamon as 21-inch or 42-inch long sticks. According to buyers’ requirements, those are cut down into the required length of small sticks (cut cinnamon; commonly 5 inches long). The small cut-off parts of sticks that remain after cutting cinnamon are also used to prepare ground cinnamon.

6. The bark of old/ wild Ceylon cinnamon trees

Some old cinnamon trees are available in homelands, wild, or abandoned cultivations except for structured Ceylon cinnamon cultivation. The barks of those cinnamon trees are thick and hard. It is impossible to prepare standard cinnamon sticks from them. The peeled inner bark of these trees will be used to prepare cinnamon powder instead of sticks.

7. Ceylon cinnamon chips

Chips are dried bark of un-peelable Ceylon cinnamon stems, branches, and trimmings, including outer bark. Chips are obtained by chipping or scarping. This source contains a mix of Ceylon cinnamon’s inner and outer bark. The output is considered a low grade of Ceylon cinnamon powder. It consists of has brown colour and a pungent taste.

Ceylon cinnamon quillings

3. Ceylon cinnamon quillings

Ceylon cinnamon featherings

4. Ceylon cinnamon featherings

Ceylon cinnamon off-cuts

5. Ceylon cinnamon off-cuts

Ceylon cinnamon chips

7. Ceylon cinnamon chips

Ceylon cinnamon chips











SrSource MaterialType of barkCharacteristics of Powder
1Standard sticksInnerLight brown or golden brown, good taste, most expensive
2Low-grade sticksInner and outerBrown or light brown, light pungent or normal taste
3QuillingsInnerLight brown, good taste, Source may contains waste
4FeatheringsInnerLight brown or golden brown, good taste
5Off-cutsInnerLight brown or brown, good taste
6Bark of old treesInnerBrown or reddish brown, Strong taste,
7Chips Inner and outerInnerBrown colour, pungent taste, Low production cost and low-quality powder, producers may mix other powder to hide the brown colour and pungent taste

Keep away from too light colour Ceylon cinnamon powder. It may be overheated while grinding.


Protection of Chemical Properties While Grinding Ceylon Cinnamon

Low-temperature grinding is essential during the preparation of Ceylon cinnamon powder. Cinnamon has hundreds of identified and still unidentified chemical components. Those components’ protection is necessary to keep the product’s taste, aroma, and benefits.

For the above items 3, 5 & 7, proper cleaning may require for the source materials. Usually, cleaning proceeds under dry status. But, some Sri Lankan producers are applying washing and drying as a step. The drying temperature of the process is crucial because it may wipe out critical chemical components of Ceylon cinnamon in this step.


Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder

Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Powder is cinnamon powder prepared using organic source materials and comply with organic regulations.

Large-scale organic Ceylon cinnamon plantations are available in Sri Lanka. In addition, a group of small-scale farmers maintain their small organic cultivation under group certificates. Organic Ceylon cinnamon products must contain a certificate from an authorized certification body that confirms the organic status. Accordingly, the final product is submitted to the market as a certified organic product. It references the details, including the certificate number, expiration date, and certification body. The consumer can verify information on the certification body’s website.

Sri Lanka has its standard for organic cultivation according to SLS 1324:2018. Most Sri Lankan cinnamon products are certified with USDA-NOP and EU organic regulations to comply with export requirements.

Organic Ceylon cinnamon powder is exported from Sri Lanka in large quantities of bulk and small quantities of retail packages. Most Ceylon cinnamon powder retail packets in the international market are packed outside Sri Lanka. Those are prepared using bulk quantities of cinnamon powder or source material imported from Sri Lanka.

Wholesale quantities of certified organic Ceylon cinnamon powder are available in the USA for less than 6 USD per Kg. Considering with shipping cost from Sri Lanka, the above price is meagre, and there is no chance to prepare that type of cinnamon powder using good quality source materials. Those may be prepared from low-quality bark or mixed with low-quality bark.


Inner Bark / Outer Bark of Ceylon Cinnamon

The preparation of Ceylon cinnamon sticks is a highly labor-consuming process. The outer bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree is scraped out in the initial stage of the preparation. It is a production waste and will be used as natural fertilizer sometimes.

According to the SLS standard, only the inner bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree should be used to prepare Ceylon cinnamon sticks. The hollow of cinnamon sticks should be filled using same-grade inner bark pieces. But, some bad cinnamon preparation practices violate the standard and fill up cinnamon sticks with low-quality, unpeeled, or partially peeled bark.


How to Identify Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

It depends on your experience with Ceylon cinnamon. The colour is the primary identification. You can check the taste in addition. The best quality cinnamon powder consists of lite or golden brown colour with a sweet and mild taste. This taste is not strong as Cassia’s and should not be pungent.

If cinnamon powder is overheated while grinding, the powder colour becomes too light. This is not the powder that you want. The properties of this type of powder are washed out.

Cassia and its varieties are cheap and commonly available. Most cinnamon powder sold in the market is prepared from Cassia or varieties. Some of the well-known brands that sell large numbers of retail quantities of cinnamon powder are not from Ceylon cinnamon sources. But, those are labeled as Ceylon cinnamon powder. The dark brown colour of the material quickly identifies it.

You must be an experienced Ceylon cinnamon consumer to identify the difference between Ceylon cinnamon powder products. When ground, the source disappeared. Then, experience is needed to assume the source. The solution is to purchase Ceylon cinnamon powder from a trusted seller in Ceylon.


How to Use Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

Cinnamon powder is used for two major purposes by end users.

1. Health supplement

Ceylon cinnamon capsule is a common example of using Ceylon cinnamon powder as a health supplement. Ceylon cinnamon is vital for daily uses except for Cassia and related verities due to its low coumarin content.

2. Food flavoring agent

Cinnamon is a widely used flavoring agent in bakery products. Those foods are common daily, including cinnamon rolls as a favorite item. In addition to bakery products, cinnamon powder is applied as a flavoring agent in curries, dishes, ice cream, etc.


How to Store of Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

Spices are needed to protect from the air (moisture), heat, and light. Especially the powder of spices should be well protected from those factors.

  • Use a closed jar or container to store your Ceylon cinnamon powder. A dark colour glass jar is a good option.
  • Keep the container at room temperature in a dry place. It should be away from direct sunlight and heating objects such as ovens, stoves, refrigerators, etc., to keep the container cool. Keep away from wet places to avoid moisture.
  • Close the container immediately and properly after use.
  • Limit the storage duration. Buy your Ceylon cinnamon powder in small quantities for a month or two.
  • No refrigeration is required for cinnamon powder.


Standards for Ceylon cinnamon powder

‘Sri Lanka Standard 81: 2021 – Specification for Ceylon cinnamon’ is the Standard prepared by Sri Lanka Standard Institution for the classification and grading of Ceylon cinnamon. This Standard prescribes the requirements and methods of sampling and tests for the processed dried bark of Ceylon cinnamon, supplied as quills, cut quills, quillings, featherings, chips, special cuts, and crushed and powdered cinnamon. According to the definitions of the Standard, ground Ceylon cinnamon is the powdered form of peeled, dried inner bark of mature Ceylon cinnamon.

Ceylon cinnamon shall be sufficiently ground such that 100 percent of the material shall pass through a sieve of 500 μm aperture size conforming to SLS 124, and more than 90 percent of it shall pass through a sieve of 300 μm aperture size conforming to SLS 124 when determined by the method specified in Part 12 of SLS 186.


Does Ceylon Cinnamon Powder have any Potential Health Benefits?

More human-based studies and trials are required to confirm the health benefits of cinnamon. But cinnamon has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times.

A few cinnamon-based studies on the health properties of cinnamon are listed below. Some of them are specified for Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, is vital for daily consumers due to its low coumarin content.

  • Anti-Bacterial Activity of Cinnamon
  • Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cinnamon
  • Anti-oxidant properties of Cinnamon
  • Blood glucose lowering abilities – Chinese study, Paul Crawford, Sri Lankan study, UK Study
  • Lowering LDL Cholesterol & Triglycerides


Where to Buy Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

Sri Lanka is the best place to buy Ceylon cinnamon products, including pure Ceylon cinnamon powder. It is the best option if you can buy your cinnamon powder package directly from Sri Lanka.

Cinnamomum zeylanicum syn. Cinnamomum verum is a native Sri Lankan species. The topical climate, rich soil, and abundant rain in Sri Lanka provide the ideal habitat for the growth of Ceylon cinnamon.

83% of the world’s true Ceylon cinnamon production is produced in Sri Lanka. Other varieties, including Saigon cinnamon, Korintje Cinnamon, or Cassia cinnamon, are not cultivated in Sri Lanka. Accordingly, significantly less chance to mix cassia powder with Ceylon cinnamon powder that directly comes from Sri Lanka.

SrCommon Name (Variety)OriginMarket Share
1Korintje CinnamonIndonesia43%
2Chinese CassiaChina25%
3Saigon cinnamonVietnam20%
4Ceylon cinnamonSri Lanka10%

You can refer an online seller if you purchase your cinnamon package outside Sri Lanka. We suggest to purchase from a reputed producer or cinnamon farmer from Sri Lanka. They will be able to provide fresh products for you. In addition, they specialize in cinnamon products and have full control over the production process from source materials.

Some of the sellers are doing trading only. Most traders don’t have enough knowledge regarding cinnamon, and they don’t have access to the production process. The product may pack using imported bulk cinnamon powder available at the destination. This process fails to deliver good-quality cinnamon powder to consumers.


What is the Best Ceylon Cinnamon Powder to Buy?

Ceylon cinnamon powder prepared by premium quality Ceylon cinnamon sticks or premium quality Ceylon cinnamon quillings is considered the top grade of Ceylon cinnamon powder. This golden brown or light brown colour powder has a much oily content. The taste is much sweet and mild.

If the powdering process is applied over the bark of Alba cinnamon (Alba is the top grade of Ceylon cinnamon), the generated output is the top grade of delicious Ceylon cinnamon, according to our experience.


Is it Safe to Take Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

Yes. Ceylon cinnamon is safe. Coumarin (benzo-α-pyrone) is a naturally available toxic chemical component in many foods. The main source of coumarin in the human diet is cinnamon. A high amount of cinnamon can be found on Cassia cinnamon. But Ceylon cinnamon contains only traces. Studies are recommended Ceylon cinnamon for daily consumers due to its low comarin content.

According to the document published by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), “in especially sensitive persons, even comparatively small quantities of coumarin can cause liver damage, although the effect is usually reversible.” “Consumers who frequently use large amounts of cinnamon as spice in their home cooking, for example for rice pudding with sugar and cinnamon, should use Ceylon cinnamon which contains low levels of coumarin”, they added.

The report published by Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA’s) stated, “High amounts of coumarin can be found in cassia cinnamon (also known as true cinnamon), whereas the Ceylon variety typically contains only traces. Ceylon cinnamon is typically more expensive than cassia cinnamon, and has a milder flavour/spice profile. Due to economics and a preference of the public for a “spicier flavour profile”, most of the cinnamon sold today is cassia cinnamon.”

Coumarin content of varieties of Cinnamon

Sr.TypeCommon NameScientific NameOriginAverage coumarin content (g/ Kg)Percentage of coumarin content
1Ceylon cinnamonCeylon cinnamonC. verum syn. C. zeylanicumSri Lanka0.0190.0019%
2CassiaCassia/ Chinese CassiaC. cassiaChina0.2010.02%
3CassiaSaigon CinnamonC. loureiroiVietnam4.0150.4%
4CassiaKorintje CinnamonC. burmanniiIndonesia5.0430.5%


  • Korintje Cinnamon (Indonesia) contains 265 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon.
  • Saigon Cinnamon (Vietnam) contains 211 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon.
  • Chinese cinnamon contains (China) has 10 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon.
  • In addition, the study shows the coumarin content of cinnamon dietary supplement capsules available in the USA market consists of Avg. 3.03 mg/g (=0.3%, 158 times more than Ceylon cinnamon).

Due to its wide availability, low price, strong spice flavor, and knowledge gap of consumers regarding true cinnamon, Cassia and its varieties are widely consumed worldwide. Today, many commercial food products are flavored with Cassia cinnamon and contain coumarin.

In countries including the USA, the term ‘Cinnamon’ refers to all types of cinnamon varieties. There is a high possibility that cassia varieties exist in grocery stores due to the rareness and comparatively high price of Ceylon cinnamon. If it is Ceylon cinnamon, it should be come from Ceylon and marked as Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum syn. Cinnamomum verum). Commonly available cinnamon or cinnamon powder is not from Ceylon.


How Much Ceylon Cinnamon Powder Per Day?

According to research conducted by Istanbul Medipol University to find the effect of cinnamon on blood glucose parameters, 6 g of cinnamon consumption was found effective than 3g or 1g. Due to the high coumarin content of cassia varieties, the use of 6g cinnamon daily exceeds the safe limit of coumarin. No risk of coumarin for Ceylon cinnamon due to very low coumarin content. 

According to the below calculation, the continuous daily usage limit for Saigon and Korintje cinnamon are 1.5 g and 1.2 g, respectively. If a consumer uses 6g of Saigon or Korintje cinnamon daily, it exceeds the daily safe limit of coumarin. Chinese cassia is limited to 30g per day, and the limit of Ceylon cinnamon is very high (up to 316g per day).

European Union has defined maximum permissible coumarin levels for cinnamon-containing foods. According to the publication, the tolerable daily intake (TDI) is 0.1 mg of coumarin per day per kg bodyweight, especially for sensitive individuals. An adult of 60 kg body weight can consume 6 mg of coumarin daily for the whole life without appreciable health risks.

According to the BfR publication and CFIA’s report regarding coumarin in cinnamon, the maximum TDI for 60Kg bodyweight person is calculated below.

Calculated TDI for Cinnamon Verities (for a 60Kg bodyweight person)

SrCinnamon varietyTypeScientific NameOriginAverage coumarin content
of cinnamon (mg/g)
TDI (g)
1Ceylon cinnamonCeylon cinnamonCinnamomum zeylanicum syn. Cinnamomum verumSri Lanka0.019316g
2Chinese cinnamonCassiaCinnamomum cassia syn. C. aromaticumChina0.20130g
3Saigon cinnamonCassiaCinnamomum loureiroiVietnam4.0151.5g
4Korintje CinnamonCassiaCinnamomum burmanniiIndonesia5.0431.2g

  • Tolerable daily intake (TDI) is the amount a person can ingest daily over a lifetime without appreciable health risks.
  • The TDI for coumarin is considered as 0.1 mg per kg of body weight and day, according to BfR publication
  • The coumarin content of cinnamon varieties is calculated according to CFIA’s report.
  • Production date according to FAOSTAT 2020

The result shows,

  • Ceylon cinnamon is the safe cinnamon variety for daily consumers. You can use up to 316g of Ceylon cinnamon daily without a coumarin issue (No person uses hundreds grams of cinnamon daily, No practical usage limit for Ceylon cinnamon accordingly).
  • Korintje Cinnamon and Saigon cinnamon are limited to a maximum of 1.2 g and 1.5 g per day (60 kg bodyweight). Due to the high coumarin content, you cannot use 6g of these two types of cinnamon daily.
  • According to the production data, the market share of Korintje and Saigon cinnamon varieties is 63%. If you are a daily cinnamon user, this result forces you to confirm the variety of cinnamon you use.
  • The limit for Chinese cassia is 30g per day. You can use 6g per day within the limit.

If these values are exceeded in a short run, this does not pose any health risks. But, you must be more concerned about the high coumarin content of Cassia varieties, especially Saigon cinnamon and Korintje Cinnamon if you use them daily.


Which is Better Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks or Ceylon Cinnamon Powder?

It depends on your application.

  • If you are not a regular consumer and the consumption is small, we suggest you purchase Ceylon cinnamon sticks and prepare cinnamon powder using a home grinder when needed.
  • If you are a regular consumer or your consumption is not small, you can purchase commercially available Ceylon cinnamon powder from a trusted Sri Lankan (Ceylon) seller. Limit your purchase quantity for the consumption of a month or two. Then you can purchase a fresh package again.



  • The Ceylon cinnamon tree is indigenous to Sri Lanka. It is rare and expensive. This is not the commonly available cinnamon in grocery stores.
  • Ceylon cinnamon powder is prepared from different types of source materials, including low-quality cinnamon parts. Difficult to identify the sources when powdered. Select a reputed and trusted seller to buy your cinnamon powder.
  • Buy your cinnamon powder from Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Sri Lanka holds a monopoly on Ceylon cinnamon production. Cassia varieties are not cultivated in Sri Lanka.
  • According to the study, decrease in the postprandial blood glucose of the individuals who consumed 6 g was more than the consumption of 1g & 3g.
  • Cinnamon contains coumarin. It is a toxin for the liver and kidneys for long-term consumers. The coumarin content of Ceylon cinnamon is only a trace. Consumers can use Ceylon cinnamon daily without the coumarin risk.
  • Continuous daily usage of Saigon cinnamon 1.5g or Korintje cinnamon 1.2 g exceeds the recommended maximum daily limit of coumarin. This is a warning for daily consumers who use Saigon or Saigon cinnamon.
  • Buy cinnamon powder in small batches and store well to keep freshness.


Who we are?

We are ‘True Ceylon Spices.’ A Ceylon spices farmer, producer, and exporter from the motherland of Ceylon cinnamon, Sri Lanka. We are working with premium-grade Ceylon spices. Our online store will allow you to purchase premium quality, fresh Ceylon cinnamon products directly from Sri Lanka. We have had a good reputation for over eight years in the business. Please contact us if you want to clarify any issue regarding Ceylon cinnamon. We want to share our knowledge always. Thanks for reading.


Read more:

Cinnamon Powder – Benefits, Effects and a Guide to be Safe