Submitted to: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2013
Publication Date: 3/7/2014
Citation: Chen, P., Sun, J., Ford, P. 2014. Differentiation of the four major types (C. Burmannii, C. Verum, C. cassia, And C. Loureiroi) of cinnamons using a flow-injection mass spectrometric (FIMS) fingerprinting method. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 10.1021/jf405580c. Interpretive Summary: Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices. There are four major types of cinnamons. Sri Lankan or Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Indonesian cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii),Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), and Vietnamese or Saigon cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureiroi). The four types cinnamons are different not only in flavor, but also in economical, nutritional, and therapeutic values. A fast method to differentiate the 4 species of cinnamons would be important to the industry, consumers, as well as clinical researchers and nutritionists. In the present study, a simple and efficient flow-injection mass spectrometric (FIMS) method was developed to analyze the samples at 1 minute/sample. The results were satisfactory and the fifty samples studied were nicely differentiated.
Technical Abstract: A simple and efficient flow-injection mass spectrometric (FIMS) method was developed to differentiate cinnamon (Cinnamomum) bark (CB) samples of the four major species (C. burmannii, C. verum, C. aromaticum, and C. loureiroi) of cinnamon. Fifty cinnamon samples collected from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka were studied using the developed FIMS fingerprinting method. The mass spectrometric fingerprints of the cinnamon samples were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA). The FIMS technique only required one minute analysis time per sample and the results show that the FIMS fingerprints clearly differentiate the four major types of the cinnamon samples studied. The representative samples from each of the four major species of cinnamon were further examined using an ultra high-performance liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry system and the chemical differences between the four subspecies were profiled.