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An aromatic bark and oil obtained from the Cinnamomum cassia tree, native to China and southeast Asia. Cassia bark contains from 1 to 2 percent volatile oil, the principal component of which is cinnamic aldehyde. Small amounts of cassia oil were sometimes added to varnishes and resin as a plasticizer. Cassia oil is used as a cinnamon flavoring in candy, chocolates, and liqueurs. In classical times, oils with similar spicy smells from the African camphor tree (Ocotea usumarensis) native to east Africa were used in ancient Egypt (Serpico and White 2000).

See also Cinnamon oil.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Cinnamomum cassia; canelo de China (Esp.); olio di cannella (It); Chinese cinnamon oil; cinnamon; cassia oil; cinnamon oil

Physical and Chemical Properties

CAS 8007-80-5

Resources and Citations

  • M.Serpico, R.White, "Oil, fat and wax" in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, P.Nicholson, I.Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 390-429.
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 200
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998