Cinnamon Leaf Oil Extraction Process, Techniques

Cinnamon leaf oil extraction process

Today, we discuss the topic of cinnamon leaf oil extraction methods and process.

What is Cinnamon leaf oil? Cinnamon leaf oil comes from Cinnamomum verum and also called true cinnamon tree or Ceylon cinnamon tree from the Laurel (Lauraceae) plant family. This Cinnamon tree is small and the bushy evergreen tree is native to Sri Lanka and Southern India, but now grows in many countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

The Cinnamon tree can be distinguished by its small, white flowers, dark green color leaves, and purple oval berries. Is Cinnamon leaf oil safe? Used carefully and in proper concentrations, Cinnamon leaf oil is a safe, natural alternative for health, beauty, and wellness. Cinnamon leaf oil can irritate the skin if too much is used. Cinnamon leaf oil is also called Dalchini or Kayumanis.

Cinnamon Bark.
Cinnamon Bark.

Properties of Cinnamon leaf oil

Cinnamon or Dalchini leaf oil has a warm, spicy aroma. It is a germicidal, antiseptic, and antifungal. an anthelmintic, anti-diarrheal, antidote, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti putrescent, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, digestive, hemostatic, orexigenic, parasiticide, refrigerant, spasmolytic, stimulant, stomachic, vermifuge.

Cinnamon leaf oil has a warm, powerful spicy aroma, with a strong similarity to cloves with undertones of citrus.

Cinnamon harvesting:

The harvesting stage of Cinnamon starts from 4th or 5th year after planting. The shoots are cut for the extraction of bark once in May and again in November month. As soon as the rain ceases, cutting of the shoots for peeling of Cinnamon bark is commenced. After cutting, young shoots spring up from the stump which will be ready for removal in subsequent periods within 18 months. The bark is peeled from the selected shoots of 18 to 24 months old, which are generally one meter long and 1 to 2 cm thick.  Shoots ready for peeling are removed from the stumps and terminal ends of the shoots are removed. Peeling is completed by knives after scraping off the outer bark. From leaves, Cinnamon oil can be extracted by steam distillation method.

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How to make Cinnamon leaf oil?

Cinnamon leaf oil, which is more delicate than cinnamon bark oil, is produced via steam distillation or water distillation. The leathery green leaves are pruned from the trees and then left to dry for several days. Afterward, they go through a special water-steam distillation machine that extracts the oil.

Cinnamon leaf oil can be distilled via traditional methods, where a huge wooden vessel is fitted with a copper head on top that holds as much as 200 kilograms (441 pounds) of dried Cinnamon leaves. The vessel is then placed in a wood-fired boiler that produces the steam for distillation method. How does Cinnamon leaf oil work? The phenols in Cinnamon tree leaves give cinnamon leaf oil it’s rejuvenating and health-promoting quality. Cinnamon leaf oil contains 70 to 96 percent phenols, mainly eugenol, which is responsible for its many beneficial properties. However, Cinnamon leaf oil can irritate your skin, so make sure it’s diluted before using it topically.

Composition of Cinnamon leaf oil:

The oil extracted from Cinnamon leaves contain phenols and useful components like eugenol, eugenol acetate, cinnamic aldehyde, Linalool, and benzyl benzoate. It also has low levels of cinnamaldehyde, an excellent fragrance and flavoring agent, and the active component that can help repel grain storage insects.

Cinnamon leaf oil extraction process:

The Cinnamon leaves are used for extraction, and the oil is obtained through steam distillation.  Steam distillation is the best process which gives better quality oil. Distillation takes 3 to 4 hours.

To extract the Cinnamon leaf essential oil, steam distillation method is used. Steam distillation is the simplest process to extract the essential oil from Cinnamon. Steam distillation is generally used to extract various types of essential oils. The procedure is cheaper than other extraction methods. It does not need any solvent and is safer than other methods. The advantage of steam distillation is that it is relatively cheap to operate at a basic level, and the properties of the oils produced by this process are not altered. As steam reduces the boiling point of a particular component of the Cinnamon leaf oil, it never decomposes in this method. Apart from being economical, it is relatively faster compared to other methods.

Cinnamon leaf oil is obtained by steam distillation process of Cinnamon leaves and the oil yield ranges between 0.5% and 1.8%. More than 47 compounds have been identified from the leaf oil, the most significant being eugenol, which constitutes 65 to 92%. Cinnamon leaf oil is cheaper than bark oil and it is used in the flavor industry, to a lesser extent, in flavor confectionary. It is used as a source of eugenol for the preparation of synthetic vanillin.

Equipment used for extraction of Cinnamon leaf oil:

Distillation kettle, material basket, insulation layer, demister, condensing tower, oil and water separator, oil and water separator, electrical steam boiler, plate distillation system, extracting tank, vacuum system, digital temperature system.

Cost of Cinnamon leaf oil and Steam distillation unit:

Cinnamon leaf oil cost is Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,500/ Kilogram.

Steam Distillation Unit cost approximately Rs 8 Lakh/ Piece.

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Steam distillation method

Why do we use steam distillation? If water is used as one of the immiscible liquids the process is called steam distillation. It is used for purifying liquids which decompose at their normal boiling points. Steam distillation is used for separating organic compounds from plant elements.

Steam Distillation is the most popular method used to extract & isolate essential oils from plants for use in natural products. This happens when the steam vaporizes the plant material’s volatile compounds, which eventually go through a condensation & collection process.

What is the principle of steam distillation? The steam distillation process works on the principle that when a mixture of 2 or more undissolved liquids is heated. While ensuring that the surfaces of both liquids are in contact with the atmosphere, the vapor pressure exerted by the structure increases.

An amount of 100 to 150 grams of mashed Cinnamon sticks were introduced into the distillation flask, which was connected to the steam generator via a glass tube and to a condenser to retrieve the oil. The essential oils were volatilized with boiling water at a temperature of 100°C for five and ten hours. The improved mixture was allowed to settle and the oil was withdrawn. After the steam distillation procedure, the product was collected and separated using a separatory funnel. The essential oils settled at the bottom layer of the separatory funnel and were divided several times until no oil was left in the separatory funnel.

Steam distillation procedure required water as the solvent which produced the less harmful product and did not cause irritation. It also did not make harmful vapor when it was released to the environment. Higher temperature caused the solvent to evaporate faster. Soxhlet extraction used ethanol as the solvent which had a lesser boiling point than water and ethanol was a volatile substance. Since the product was oil, some of it stuck to the collection jar through extraction and some were stuck to the separator funnel during the separation of the oil from water. Oil has very high viscosity, so some of the oil stuck inside the instruments. The essential oils collected will be in higher quantity if the time used for the extraction process was lengthy.

During the extraction, the temperature should be controlled so that it will not rise above 100°C. If the temperature was high, the water from the round bottom flask will rise and enter the cooling tube and the collector flask. This will damage the product that was already extracted and the distillation procedure needs to be rerun.

The oil collected was separated using separator funnel which can be used to divide two layers of immiscible liquids such as water and oil. The essential oil from Cinnamon leaf has a higher density than water so they will sink at the bottom of the separatory funnel. Some of the Cinnamon leaf oil did not sink and formed an oil bubble at the top and middle of the water later. Wait for a while to let the Cinnamon leaf oil bubbles sink and the oil at the bottom will be collected. The procedure for separating the oil will run several times until no oil can be separate anymore.

Stability and storage of Cinnamon leaf oil

Keep Cinnamon leaf oil in tightly closed containers in a cool and dry place, protected from light. When stored for more than 24 months, quality must be checked before use.

That’s all folks about Cinnamon Leaf Oil Extraction Process. Keep farming!.

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  1. dear sir.
    I’m Pathira from Sri Lanka. I’m interested in this subject & searching for more details. so pls let me know the things that you have.
    thanking you.


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