Authentication and quantitative analysis on the chemical profile of Cassia Bark (Cortex Cinnamomi) by high-pressure liquid chromatography

Zhen Dan He, Chun Feng Qiao, Quan Bin Han, Chuen Lung Cheng, Hong Xi Xu, Ren Wang Jiang, Paul Pui Hay But, Pang Chui Shaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


Cassia bark or cortex cinnamomi, the dried stem bark of Cinnamomum cassia Presl. (Lauraceae), is a popular natural spice and a commonly used herb in traditional Chinese medicine. However, adulterants are frequently found in the market. In this study, 44 samples of Cassia bark including bark from seven related Cinnamomum species were collected from fields and market. Four characteristic components, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamyl alcohol, and coumarin were determined by RP-HPLC, and a fingerprint comprised of five markers was established. These results showed that cassia barks contained high contents of cinnamaldehyde (13.01-56.93 mg/g). The highest content of cinnamaldehyde (up to 93.83 mg/g) was found in debarked cortex, which is traditionally regarded as having the best quality in local herb shops. In contrast, the adulterants from the other Cinnamomum species, C. wilsonii Camble, C. japonicum Sieb., C. mairei Levl. and C. burmanii (Nees) Blume, contained low contents of cinnamaldehyde (<2.00 mg/g). The content of cinnamaldehyde in C. loureirii Nees was comparable to that in C. cassia. It is suggested that five characteristic peaks by HPLC are suitable for distinguishing genuine cassia bark from the adulterants and could be applied in the quality control of this commodity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2424-2428
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number7
Early online date11 Mar 2005
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chemical profile
  • Cinnamaldehyde
  • Cinnamomum
  • Cinnamomum cassia
  • Cortex cinnamomi
  • HPLC fingerprint
  • Quantitative analysis


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