True cinnamon (Cinnamon verum) is a high value spice only grown in Sri Lanka. It can often be adulterated with the lower priced Cinnamon cassia. This can have food safety implications because Cinnamon cassia contains high levels (1%) of coumarin, whereas true cinnamon has a minimal amount (0.04%) of coumarin. Coumarin is toxic to some animals and certain sensitive humans causing liver and kidney damage. Argentinian researchers have developed a rapid, low cost, non-destructive method based on NIR (Near-infrared diffuse reflectance) spectroscopy and chemometrics to detect the adulteration of true cinnamon.
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