Written by Milcah Tran
HANFIMEX’s WARNING: Proliferation of Fake Cassia on the market
May 09, 2022
Cinnamon or Cassia – it’s one of the healthiest spices in the world and has been used as a traditional herbal medicine for centuries. However, there are different types of cinnamon – and they are not all created equally. In recent days, we are informed that there are many importers claiming the bad quality of cassia from India, China, and even Vietnam. The answer would be Cheap price and Fake Cassia.
What is cassia, actually?
True cassia is cassia soft bark cinnamon, which is made from the actual bark of a tree native to the mountainous areas of Vietnam, mainly in Yen Bai and Lao Cai – which are protected as “regional brands” under the EVFTA (Europe – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement). Though it’s considered to be lower quality than Ceylon cinnamon, it’s less expensive and easily found in grocery stores in most of the countries.
So what’s the “fake” cassia at glance?
A plant called “fake” cassia (Sassafras albidum), by contrast is much cheaper. Meanwhile, its texture is the same as that of true cassia, but the FDA doesn’t distinguish between the two. That’s why both show up in stores as just cinnamon or cassia.
In the above images, the “fake” cassia that we received from one of our customers to make a comparison and warn all of you. At a glance, there is no distinction in the texture and appearance of both. However, if you can taste them, the flavor profile and intensity of “fake” cassia is another story, not sweet, not heady, and spicy. You may feel like a taste of small wood or bark found somewhere in your containers as “foreign matter”. Hence, we would remind you to pay attention to the cheap price offered by your suppliers. Or you can be ensured the quality of true cassia with the Hanfimex brand.
Unethical Business Practices with a “cheap price” – not a good deal at all
Flavor differences aside, this is the part worth paying attention to: All cinnamons/cassia have some amount of a natural compound called coumarin, which imparts flavor, but the amount found in “fake” cassia is considerably higher than that in true one—and can even be toxic for consumers.
As if the coumarin risks weren’t scary enough, much cheaper cassia also adds fillers. These can really be any additive that helps bulk up the product. So that a discount of 70 to 80 USD per ton for your shipment? Not such a good deal after all. So if you are interested in Cassia powder, we highly recommend that you choose a legit supplier to ensure 100% of true cassia.
Why choose HANFIMEX GROUP for true cassia?
With over 20 years of experience in the cassia industry, we are proud to be the leading supplier with an ethical business and prestige – verified by FAIR TRADE and SMETA. Hanfimex factory is located in the center of Cassia material area – Yen Bai province. We select the best material to process the finished products. We sterilize, grind and blend to customer orders. We follow ASTA (American Spice Trade Association) guidelines and HACCP for safe, good-quality products.
With a factory on 2 hectares in Yen Bai and farms surrounding, we are capable of providing on-time delivery of large quantities of top-quality Vietnamese Cassia. Our capacity is 1000 – 1500 tons per month.
We hope this information will benefit you and your company in expanding the partnership over the globe, especially in Vietnam. We are looking forward to working with you and supporting you with more market information.
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